The Air Force says its F-35 sustainment cost will grow to 14% more than it can afford, even if it gets all spare parts for the aircraft for free. The military’s spare parts supply chain is suffering a “crisis in readiness,” according to Stephen Rodriguez, former special advisor at the Defense Department, founder and current managing partner at One Defense and senior advisor at the Atlantic Council.
- Rodriguez said sole-sourcing, in which a single supplier delivers goods, is a major cause of supply shortages, reducing combat readiness and ability to quickly replace equipment.
- Rodriguez said providing flexibility for surge capacity and diversifying the supply chain base would help with the procurement lag for critical tools.
- Rodriguez said this is a great opportunity to revitalize discussion around defense innovation and look at technologies such as 3D printing.