The F-35 Joint Program Office plans to issue one performance-based logistics (PBL) contract to improve parts reliability and maintainability of the stealth aircraft.
The programme office has launched a market research effort ahead of a plan to grant a three-year PBL contract for 2024 to 2026, it says in a request for information posted online on 12 June.
The potential contract echoes a white paper PBL proposal put forward by Lockheed Martin in September 2019 to cut the operating cost of the F-35 to $25,000 per hour by fiscal year 2025. In FY2018, it cost $44,000 an hour to fly the F-35A, the conventional-take-off-and-landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter trio. The F-35C carrier variant and F-35B short-take-off-and-vertical-landing variants cost even more to fly.
By issuing a PBL contract, the Joint Program Office could award a flat fee to maintain certain levels of performance on the F-35, such as cost per flight hour and mission capability rates. That differs from traditional maintenance contracts where the operator would pay for supply of parts or repair services. (end of excerpt)
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