F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Ensuring Safety and Accountability in the Government’s Trillion Dollar Investment

Meeting Notes: 
This is a hybrid in-person/remote hearing.
Date: 
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 10:00am
Location: 
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Ensuring Safety and Accountability in the Government’s Trillion Dollar Investment

CHAIRWOMAN MALONEY'S OPENING STATEMENT [PDF]


On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing entitled “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter:  Ensuring Safety and Accountability in the Government’s Trillion Dollar Investment.”

 

The hearing focused on issues related to maintenance of the aircraft and excess costs incurred by the Department of Defense (DOD) because the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, provided defective spare parts and an inadequate information technology system for the F-35.

 

The F-35 is DOD’s largest and most costly acquisition program, with sustainment contracts that require delivery of spare parts, and costs estimated at more than $1 trillion over a 60-year life cycle.

 

According to a June 2019 DOD Inspector General (IG) report, “Lockheed Martin has failed to adequately deliver spare parts for the F-35 program since 2015.”  The IG estimated that more than $300 million was spent on additional labor costs between 2015 and 2018 as a result of Lockheed Martin’s failure to provide F-35 spare parts with logs and that DOD will continue to pay $55 million a year if issues are not resolved. 

 

On March 6, 2020, GAO reported that F-35s frequently fly despite having parts installed without electronic logs.  On May 19, 2020, the Committee heard from four military representatives who expressed the need to quickly resolve the issues so that the military can focus on meeting the needs of warfighters and ensuring military readiness. 

 

On June 18, 2020, Chairwoman Maloney, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security Stephen F. Lynch, and Committee Members Jackie Speier and Ro Khanna sent a letter to Lockheed Martin requesting information on the company’s failure to deliver spare parts for the F-35 that were ready for installation.

WITNESSES

Lieutenant General Eric T. Fick
Program Executive Officer, F-35 Joint Program Office
U.S. Department of Defense
 

Ms. Theresa Hull
Assistant Inspector General
U.S. Department of Defense
 

The Honorable Ellen Lord
Under Secretary for Acquisitions and Sustainment
U.S. Department of Defense
 

Ms. Diana Maurer
Director, Government Accountability Office
Defense Capabilities and Management
 

Mr. Greg Ulmer
Vice President and General Manger, F-35 Lightning II Program
Lockheed Martin Corporation

DOCUMENTS

116th Congress