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F-35 PEO Michael Schmidt More Resilient Supply Chain for Aircraft Parts

Inventory management plan

F-35 PEO Michael Schmidt More Resilient Supply Chain for Aircraft Parts

Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt, the program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, wants to prepare its supply chain for future conflicts by shifting away from a just-in-time approach that delivers materials just before they are needed and keeps inventories low. Speaking at a panel discussion during the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference in Maryland, he warned that the current strategy is susceptible to disruptions such as strikes or quality issues, potentially impacting wartime resilience.

Schmidt, a past speaker at a Potomac Officers Club event, noted that the F-35’s sustainment needs could be met by working with allies that also operate the fighter jets to gain access to their logistics and maintenance facilities. He added that efforts need to be made to ensure that those centers receive “the right parts.”

According to Schmidt, the Department of Defense redirected some F-35 acquisition funds toward expanding depots. He said that his focus is to meet the sustainment requirements of other countries using the jets, C4ISRNET reported.

Schmidt became the F-35 program lead in 2022, at a time that the DOD was in talks with manufacturer Lockheed Martin to procure additional lots.

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