South Korean Air Force Faces Serious Problems With Its F-35A Block 3, Why?

South Korean Air Force Faces Serious Problems With Its F-35A Block 3, Why?
South Korean Air Force Faces Serious Problems With Its F-35A Block 3

Seoul - The South Korean Air Force's F-35A Block 3 fighter appears to be in trouble. A lawmaker, Shin Won-Sik from South Korea's ruling party revealed this. On 4 October 2022, he revealed that there was a 'serious maintenance problem'. It is this problem that causes it to fail to operate within a certain period of time.

Quoted from Defense Security Asia, the F-35A is said to be "not ready" to enter service 234 times in the 18 months ending last June. MPs presented data from the country's Air Force. The data shows the problems faced in operating the fighter jet.

He said the fighter aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin was damaged and could not fly 172 times for 18 months. There have been another 62 cases in which the state-of-the-art aircraft failed to complete the special mission assigned to it.

"The average US-made fifth-generation fighter aircraft was only able to carry out its mission for 12 days last year and only 11 days in the second half of this year," the lawmaker said. He also added that the planes from older Korean Air Force aircraft such as the F-4 and F-5E only "failed to operate" 24 and 26 times in that 18-month period.

However, the South Korean Air Force has officially stated that their F-35A aircraft have achieved an operational level of 75 percent, while denying that the US-made fighter jet is facing any problems. To maintain the F-35A stealth fighter jet is indeed very expensive.

Quoted from the Eurasian Times, even the service acknowledged the difficulty of getting parts for defects on the newly launched models.

On the other hand, Australia made headlines when it intended to spend an astounding AUD14.6 billion ($10.87 billion) just to maintain its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fleet through 2053.

By February 2022, official records indicated that Australian F-35A fighters would be spending less time in the air than previously thought.

It sparked a national debate about the capability and viability of the Royal Australian Air Force. For that, getting the F-35 is indeed a good welfare. However, besides that, the F-35 then requires very serious maintenance.

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