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

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

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

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.