F-35 Repair Competition

The F-35 program office plans to get regional repair centers to compete for work on the international F-35 fighter fleet, program manager Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan said Wednesday. Two to three “heavy airframe and engine” repair facilities will be certified in each of three regions: North America, the Pacific, and Europe, from among countries that are actually buying the fighter, said Bogdan during the COMDEF 2014 conference in Washington, D.C. Each repair facility will get a minimum amount of work equal to the total number of F-35s it buys “to justify that country’s investment.” However, more efficient facilities stand to get the lion’s share of work—perhaps “60-70 percent” if they offer “best value pricing” over a given three-year contract period, he said. There’s legwork to be done to see if a given country that wants the work—not all partners do, he said—is capable of doing it. US F-35s based overseas would be repaired at such facilities, Bogdan said; partner jets in the US would be fixed here.