A shortage of critical spare parts for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter fleet might’ve been helped by conducting logistics assessments that are supposed to take place every five years. according to a a report by the Defense Department’s Inspector General.

But the sea service undertook no such assessments from 2000 to 2018, IG found.

“Had Navy officials performed an overall independent logistics assessment as required for the Super Hornet Program from 2000 to 2018, the Navy would have identified causes for the deficiencies in obtaining spare parts and given the Navy the information needed to develop plans to correct the deficiencies,” the report states.

Today, the fighter fleet is plagued by a lack of key components that are either back-ordered, obsolete or rarely available at any price.

Manufacturers are either slow to repair parts or refuse to share technical data with the Navy so the service can create in-house solutions or buy new supplies from rival contractors, according to the report.

Some maintainers are cannibalizing jets to avoid sending future requests for parts high up the chain of command, IG determined.

IG warned that back-orders and cannibalization efforts might prevent the Navy from meeting “sudden increases in operations mission readiness requirements.”