For more than 16 years, the Lockheed Martin F-35 has been in production even though it is considered one of the newest combat aircrafts in the world. Keep in mind that the average life spans for these commercial parts are typically three years or less.
Some may say that some of these sophisticated subsystems might have a hard time locating spare parts, since many of these have gone out of production since the first flew back in 2000. As well as it being difficult to find aviation spare parts for these it is expensive as well.
In order to keep the supply line for the F-35 the contract agent for the Marine Corps had to put together almost a quarter of a million dollars to help this electronic parts supply line.
At Patuxent River Naval Air Station, officials announced the multi-million-dollar contract to the Lockheed Martin Corporation in Texas, which whom are the builders of the F-35. The purpose of this contract is to diminish manufacturing sources, (DMS) electronic components. If they proceed with diminishing manufacturing sources, that means it would be moving towards the end of their manufacturing cycles.
The best way to deal with these electronic parts is to continue to make buys throughout a lifetime, meaning buying every part before they can stop production. Even after making these buys certain companies rely on part brokers also known as the “gray marker” to keep parts on hand.
Since these military parts are expensive and have to remain top condition for decades, It can be time consuming and expensive to ensure this.
If there is no supply of electronic spare parts, certain system integrators like Lockheed Martin would have to deal with electronic subsystems with the newest electronic parts. It may seem like a good thing but It is way more expensive and takes more time than keeping parts in stock.
If the system is redesigned then it would take a long time to make perfect, but what comes with that as well is an even longer time to certify the parts. This could turn into a quarter-billion-dollar investment the Navy is making in spare parts. In the long run it could end up being a good profit.