US most expansive stealth jet F-35 deliveries to Pentagon resume

File photo showing two US Marine F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, completing vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during operational testing. (Reuters)
Updated 07 May 2018
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US most expansive stealth jet F-35 deliveries to Pentagon resume

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense resumed accepting F-35 jet deliveries from Lockheed Martin Corp. last week after reaching an agreement on who would cover the costs to fix a production error, the Pentagon told Reuters on Monday.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The cost of the fix was $119 million, people familiar with the situation had previously told Reuters.
The Pentagon had stopped accepting the jets on March 29, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program office told Reuters in a statement. The dispute was over who was responsible for paying to fix corrosion related to an error discovered in the second half of 2017.
The military, US allies that own F-35s and Lockheed Martin are making the necessary repairs to all aircraft, the Pentagon’s office in charge of the fighter program said in the statement.
The majority of aircraft will be repaired within two years, the statement said.
Shares of Lockheed added to gains after the news and were up 1.4 percent at $315.90 in late afternoon.
Last year, the Pentagon stopped accepting F-35s for 30 days after discovering corrosion where panels were fastened to the airframe, an issue that affected more than 200 of the stealthy jets. Once a fix had been devised, the deliveries resumed, and Lockheed hit its target aircraft delivery numbers for 2017.
A lack of protective coating at the fastening point that would have prevented corrosion was identified as the primary problem, the Pentagon said at the time.
On Monday, Lockheed said an agreement had been reached with the Pentagon, adding that it expected to hit its F-35 delivery target of 91 aircraft for 2018.


Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India’s Modi to congratulate him on election win

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India’s Modi to congratulate him on election win

  • Modi shocked many with his decisive victory in this election
  • Tensions have flared between the two countries earlier this year

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to Narendra Modi and congratulated the Indian leader on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both countries said on Sunday.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections in India,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed countries, flared in February with cross-border air strikes and a brief battle between fighter jets above Kashmir.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed Khan had called Modi on Sunday, adding the two leaders had discussed fighting poverty together.
“He (Modi) stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region,” the ministry added in a statement.