JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –-- Artisans at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast were a little late celebrating their 100th repair of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Electro-Optical Targeting System on Sept. 5 – they’re actually on 118.
After extensive training, the Navy command’s EOTS program’s official launch came on August 30, 2017, in an effort to free Lockheed Martin’s production facility from repair work, to focus on building new units.
“Repairs are no longer clogging up the production line,” Lockheed Martin technical liaison Joe Avery said. “They’ve been able to get more new EOTS out to sustain more aircraft and get more aircraft to the fleet.”
According to FRCSE shop supervisor Rick Knowles, the program has succeeded in large part because of the skill and hard work of the artisans.
“These artisans, you couldn’t ask for a better group of people,” Knowles said. “They’re professional, dedicated, proud of what they do and they have a very good work ethic.”
Looking forward, the work is only expected to increase.
“The workload will be increasing on all sides of the house,” Knowles said. “But with the Lockheed representatives we have onsite, material support and the artisans we have, we’ll accommodate future expansion.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release doesn’t explain why Electro-Optical Targeting Systems on F-35 aircraft coming off the production line require repairs, but this is one of the many defects that require post-delivery fixes and upgrades, at the customer’s expense.)