Pentagon and Lockheed Martin in Fight Over F-35 FRACAS Data, Says Former Programme Official

The Pentagon is seeking a specific set of F-35 data from Lockheed Martin that covers performance such as average time between part failures A source said Lockheed Martin is reluctant to provide this because the company claims that it owns the rights and could also lose sustainment business if it provides such data The Pentagon wants a specific set...
The Pentagon wants a specific set of F-35 information known as FRACAS data, which can measure mean time between part failures. However, prime contractor Lockheed Martin is hesitant to provide this data, according to a former programme official. Source: US Air Force
  • The Pentagon is seeking a specific set of F-35 data from Lockheed Martin that covers performance such as average time between part failures
  • A source said Lockheed Martin is reluctant to provide this because the company claims that it owns the rights and could also lose sustainment business if it provides such data

The Pentagon wants a specific set of data from Lockheed Martin if it is to consider entering a performance-based logistics (PBL) arrangement for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), according to a former programme official.

A failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system (FRACAS) provides a process for reporting, classifying, and analysing failures, as well as planning corrective action in response to those failures. The former official told Jane's on 9 March that FRACAS data covers operational and maintenance (O&M) data, such as mean time between failure, not just at the aircraft level but two, three, and even four subsystems and tiers below.

For example, FRACAS data covers average time between failure data such as how specific systems and components perform on a day-to-day basis, how often a radar breaks, how often certain parts need to be repaired, and how often they are taken off the aircraft. This data could allow the Pentagon's Joint Program Office (JPO) to identify components that were supposed to have 10,000 hours of life but instead have only 5,000 hours of life, as well as parts that take much longer to repair compared with what standard repair manuals claim.

The problem, the former programme official said, is that Lockheed Martin claims that this data is their intellectual property (IP), and therefore owns the rights to it unless the Pentagon pays for it. The former official disagreed with this assessment, saying that IP is restricted to the design of the aircraft and its engineering, which the Pentagon can never own, and not FRACAS data.

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