F-35 COURTS NEW CONTROVERSY

SUSTAINMENT COSTS LOOM OVER LIGHTNING II

ON APRIL 11, the US Defense Department conrmed that it had halted acceptance of some F-35s over a dispute regarding who would cover the cost of repairing corrosion on fastener holes on nearly 200 jets. The problem was said to have been caused by poor nishing procedures as corrosion-preventing primer had not been applied to the holes. The DoD placed a temporary hold on some deliveries while the solution was negotiated. By May 1, the US military again started accepting new aircraft. It has not been disclosed who is footing the bill for the repairs. A Joint Program Oce statement said, ‘The majority of aircraft will be complete within 24 months with the remaining aircraft completed as their availabilities/ modi cation timing allows.’ Lockheed Martin says it remains on track to meet its delivery target of 91 F-35s for 2018.

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