F-35 part maintenance spread to UK, the Netherlands & Australia

The US Department of Defense has assigned Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade (MRO&U) capabilities for F-35 Lightning II parts to facilities in the UK, the Netherlands and Australia, as announced on Monday 7 November. The contracts involved are potentially worth billions of USD.

As part of the F-35 global sustainment strategy, nations in the F-35 program were asked to work with industrial partners to provide the repair facilities. The resulting assignments are based on data compiled and analyzed by the F-35 Joint Program Office. They come into effect in 2021 and will be reviewed after five years. The assignments make sure F-35 operations and maintenance can be supported anywhere around the world, according to the US.

A very exclusive report on F-35 production in Cameri, Italy, follows soon here at  Airheadsfly.com.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has a total of 774 repairable components, broken into 18 categories such as avionics, life support, egress, canopy system and pumps.  The current assignment is for 65 of these 774 parts, with assignment of the remaining parts to follow over the next two to three years. Eventually, the program intends to have regional repair capability in Europe and the Pacific for all 774 components.

The Department of Defense assigned 48 components to the United Kingdom, 14 to the Netherlands, and 3 to Australia. From 2021 to 2025 these repair capabilities in the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands will serve all F-35s around the world.

The current assigments are for repairable parts, and not complete airframes. In 2014 the US assigned F-35 MRO&U capability for airframes and engines for the European and Pacific Regions.  In Europea, F-35 initial airframe MRO&U capability will be provided by Italy at their Final Assembly and Checkout facility in Cameri by 2018.

Also in Europe,  engine heavy maintenance will initially be provided by Turkey in 2018, with Norway and the Netherlands providing additional capability approximately three years after Turkey’s initial capability.

In Asia, Japan and Australia were choosen for the F-35 airframe MRO&U capability. For heavy engine maintenance, the initial capability will be provided by Australia, with Japan providing additional capability approximately three to five years later.