The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has started working to expand the supply chain visibility of F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft to boost its readiness.
Announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD), the effort will allow the government and military officials to address issues and concerns if the spare parts distribution process is affected.
The agency is soon going to start its third year as a product support provider for North American Regional Warehousing, comprising six DLA distribution warehouses.
Located at the Air Force and Navy industrial sites, all six distribution centres store F-35 retail parts while two are also responsible for supporting global wholesale demands of F-35 jet and propulsion systems by holding parts for the F-35 Global Spares Pool.
Through this pool, supplies for nearly 860 F-35 aircraft across 16 nations are replenished. The nations include eight allied and partner countries and eight military sales customers.
Several industry partners also work under the F-35 sustainment contractor logistics support model to ensure that the systems are in a ready-to-operate condition, anytime, anywhere.
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DLA F-35 Supply Chain Integration Programme manager Rick Teal said: “The first attempt to make the supply chain more visible was to stand-up DLA Distribution support, and as the fleet grows with different logistics/sustainment concepts evolving, we’ll continue to grow too.”
The agency said that the fleet is expected to grow to more than 1,400 aircraft across 26 bases, ten ships and global industrial sites by the end of 2025.
DLA is working with the US Transportation Command, a DoD-led team, F-35 Joint Programme Office and Lightning Sustainment Centre to list all the near-term warehousing/transportation needs.
The group will then create a National Stock Numbers to maintain information about the in-house and commercial stocks, providing easy access to supply chain data.