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Mission Compromised: Shocking Revelation – Less than 30% of US F-35 Lightning II Fifth-Generation Fighters Combat-Ready

The Ministry of Defence is facing recurring issues with its fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II jets. Only a fraction of the aircraft are fully operational.

Here’s What We Know: Lockheed Martin has delivered 540 planes to the US military, while the total number of aircraft delivered to all customers exceeds 900. As of February 2023, Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt of the US Air Force stated that only 53.1% of the F-35s were capable of engaging in combat missions.

He expressed dissatisfaction with this figure, emphasizing the need to increase it by 10% in the upcoming months.

However, Schmidt clarified that the mentioned percentage only applies to a specific set of missions, including combat/demonstration sorties, tests, and training. The target readiness goal for the F-35 Lightning II is 65%. Nonetheless, less than 30% of the fifth-generation fighters are fully prepared to execute any given task.

The specific reasons behind the decline in fighter readiness in 2023 have not been specified. The readiness rate decreased from 69% in 2020 to 65% in 2022 due to a shortage of spare parts for the F-35 Lightning II. Another issue has been the frequent failure of certain components within the Pratt & Whitney F135 engines.

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