Exclusive: Lockheed resumes F-35 jet deliveries to Pentagon - official

Exclusive: Lockheed resumes F-35 jet deliveries to Pentagon - official

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense has resumed accepting F-35 jet deliveries from Lockheed Martin Corp after reaching an agreement on who would cover the costs to fix a production error, a Pentagon official said 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 deliveries since at least April 11, when Lockheed first acknowledged to Reuters that the Pentagon was not taking new planes. The dispute was over who was responsible for paying to fix corrosion related to an error discovered in the second half of 2017.

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.

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.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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Updated Date: May 08, 2018 01:05:30 IST

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