The report, released on October 26, says that the Department of Defense is facing “sustainment challenges that are affecting warfighter readiness.”
Currently, there are more the 250 F-35 aircraft, with plans to triple the fleet by the end of 2021.
According to the GAO findings, capabilities to repair F-35 parts at military depots are 6 years behind schedule, which results in an average part repair time of 172 days, which is twice the objective of the program.
There are also a shortage of spare parts that the GAO says is degrading readiness.
“From January through August 7, 2017, F-35 aircraft were unable to fly about 22 percent of the time due to parts shortages,” the report stated.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter comes in three variants for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
The Department of Defense plans to purchase just shy of 2,500 of the jets.