U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) has announced that one- third of the shows scheduled with the F-35 Lightning A this year will not take place. Following this development, Bloomberg wrote on its website that demonstrations were cancelled due to shortages of F-35 engines.
Bloomberg said that events will not be held to increase the service life of aircraft. In variant A of the F-35s, it was reported that the engine was heating up and therefore turbine blade coatings cracked early or were separated into layers. While it was stated that the shortage would not be a problem for flight safety. With the situation, the life of the power pack decreased, as the engines had to be disassembled and repaired earlier than expected.
Engine related problems slowed the production process of the aircraft program, the production speed of new engines for the jet dropped. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office has briefed Defence Department acquisition leaders that, in the most extreme case, up to 20% of Air Force F-35s will lack engines by 2025.
Turkey, which was removed from the F-35 program according to Pentagon data, produced 817 of the jet’s approximately 24,000 fuselage pieces and 188 of about 3,000 engine pieces. Ankara had reached an agreement to produce the air vehicle’s engine propulsion system, including electronic harnesses for the F-35, compressor rotor hub, bracket devices and seals for the air turbine.
The United States is estimated to spend a total of $66.4 billion on the engine program for the F-35.