By Tony Capaccio and Laura Curtis

June 12 (Bloomberg) — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft has
not yet demonstrated sufficient reliability improvements,
Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, tells reporters
after an F-35 management conf.

  • Says Lockheed, suppliers need to improve time between parts
    failures
  • NOTE: 104 aircraft have been delivered to date for testing
    flights and training
  • NOTE: Kendall told Senate panel in June 2013 “we’re not
    where we need to be on reliability right now”; program is
    “lagging our own goals by a significant margin”
  • “I would probably pretty much make the same comment
    today,” Kendall says; there’s “some marginal evidence of
    improvement but it’s not enough”
  • Says he’s “slightly encouraged” Lockheed, military
    services “were moving to much more specific plans” for
    measuring reliability improvements, though it takes a while
    to see results when looking at whole fleet of aircraft
  • Says improvements expected as aircraft with more reliable
    parts accumulate flying time

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Curtis in Washington at +1-202-654-4314 or lcurtis7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:Nicholas Johnston at +1-202-654-1264 or njohnston3@bloomberg.net