Pentagon and Lockheed in Fight Over Failure

Janes’s  |  29 March 2020  |  Pat Host

The Pentagon wants data on failures of the F-35. Lockheed wants the taxpayer to pay them for it.

How greedy can you be? Or maybe this might clue more people in to what a hunk of junk this jet is.

Original Article 

“The Pentagon wants a specific set of data from Lockheed Martin if it is to consider entering a performance-based logistics (PBL) arrangement for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), according to a former programme official.

A failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system (FRACAS) provides a process for reporting, classifying, and analysing failures, as well as planning corrective action in response to those failures.


The former official told Jane’s on 9 March that FRACAS data covers operational and maintenance (O&M) data, such as mean time between failure, not just at the aircraft level but two, three, and even four subsystems and tiers below.

For example, FRACAS data covers average time between failure data such as how specific systems and components perform on a day-to-day basis, how often a radar breaks, how often certain parts need to be repaired, and how often they are taken off the aircraft. This data could allow the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office (JPO) to identify components that were supposed to have 10,000 hours of life but instead have only 5,000 hours of life, as well as parts that take much longer to repair compared with what standard repair manuals claim.

The problem, the former programme official said, is that Lockheed Martin claims that this data is their intellectual property (IP), and therefore owns the rights to it unless the Pentagon pays for it. The former official disagreed with this assessment, saying that IP is restricted to the design of the aircraft and its engineering, which the Pentagon can never own, and not FRACAS data.

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