LOS ANGELES (the USA), April 12, 2018, Text: Bm News Team, Photo: Lockheed Martin
The U.S. Department of Defence (USDOD) is declining delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs due to an unresolved payment dispute with the manufacturer. Last year it was found a production error on the stealth multirole fighter and it is not reached an agreement yet who is to pay for the repair, reported FlightGlobal.
The production issue was corrosion at the place where the carbon fibre exterior panels of the plane were fastened to the airframe, due to which the Pentagon stopped accepting F-35 fighters for about a month in 2017. Although the corrosion issue is already fixed, it is still not reached an agreement between the USDOD and the manufacturer Lockheed Martin on who is to pay for the repair works on the F-35s deployed around the world.
Lockheed Martin confirmed, “Production on the F-35 programme continues and we’re confident we’ll meet our delivery target of 91 aircraft for 2018. While all work in our factories remains active, the F-35 Joint Program Office has temporarily suspended accepting aircraft until we reach an agreement on a contractual issue and we expect this to be resolved soon.”
The JPO, responsible for F-35 programme, stopped any deliveries for 3 weeks in 2017 after the corrosion was found, after which deliveries were resumed and the sales target for the year 2017 was reached despite the production issue and relevant delays.