Lockheed’s stealthy F-35 breaks down too often, Pentagon says

The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said the next-generation F-35 jet continues to fall short of full combat readiness targets and, despite some progress on reliability issues, all three versions of the fighter are breaking down “more often than planned.”

None of the Air Force, Marines and Navy variants of the Lockheed Martin fighter is meeting its five key “reliability or maintainability metrics,” Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational testing, said in prepared remarks Wednesday before two House Armed Services Committee panels.

The House subcommittees are reviewing the $428 billion program’s status and progress recovering from years of cost overruns and production delays.