The office has personnel focusing on site and ship activation, maintenance and modifications of planes and parts, offering support across the supply chain, with a 24/7 “global operations center,” which hit initial operating capability this past June, Seal said.
The office’s primary role is to make sure the plane is ready for warfighters and affordable for the Air Force.
While budget hawks have decried the plane’s cost — its price tag is in the ballpark of $100 million each — advocates tout its smooth flying capability, aided by computer automation, and stealthy survivability.
And European countries, including Germany and Finland, have found new reasons to love the F-35 in the wake of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
However, in its most recent budget proposal, the Air Force said it wants to buy 33 F-35As in the coming fiscal year, fewer than the 48 the branch sought in last year’s budget.
Operational in Virginia since 2016, the office is staffed by the U.S. government with seven partner nations — the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway — with five companies, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman.
“Co-locating all elements of the HPSI organization allows for U.S. government, partner nations and Industry personnel to work collaboratively with a performance-based focus on the F-35 fleet,” Seal said.