Pentagon says deliveries of F-35 fighter jets can resume after partial exemption of Chinese origin – Flying Journals


Pentagon says deliveries of F-35 fighter jets can resume after waiver

The Pentagon chief said the acceptance of the F-35 was necessary in the interest of national security.

Washington:

Deliveries of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 jets can resume under a waiver that allows Chinese-origin alloys into engine components, the Pentagon said Saturday.

In September, the Pentagon stopped accepting new F-35 jets after discovering that magnets in stealth fighter engines were made of unauthorized Chinese materials.

William Laplante, the Pentagon’s main arms buyer, signed a waiver on Oct. 8 that allows alloys that do not comply with U.S. procurement law to be used in the engine’s lube oil pump. Those prohibit unauthorized Chinese content on board.

Laplante said in a statement that acceptance of the aircraft was necessary in the interest of national security, adding that the decision applies to the last aircraft under the contract being accepted, which is currently expected in October 2023.

Pump supplier Honeywell International will work to find alternative sources of metal for future lube pumps.

Magnets do not transmit information or harm the aircraft and present no safety risk.

Lockheed Martin, which makes the jet, has said the problem “is related to magnets on Honeywell-made F-35 turbines, which include cobalt and samarium alloys.”

Alternative sources of alloys will be used in the future, the Joint Program Office said in the statement.

The jet, which also has other magnets originating in China, has been granted immunity by a former Pentagon official.

(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)



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