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  4. Pentagon halts acceptance of new F-35 jets after aircraft maker discovers China-made engine part

Pentagon halts acceptance of new F-35 jets after aircraft maker discovers China-made engine part

Pentagon said an alternative source for the made-in-China alloy will be used in future turbomachines.

Vani Mehrotra Edited By: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Published on: September 08, 2022 7:42 IST
Pentagon, Pentagon F-35 jest, made in China fighter jet parts
Image Source : AP/REPRESENTATIVE Pentagon stops accepting new F-35 jets after discovering engine part made in China

Highlights

  • The part was observed by Lockheed Martin - the aircraft's maker
  • Earlier too, the F-35 Joint Program Office was informed of a China-made alloy being used in pumps
  • It confirmed the part does not affect flight operations of the fifth-generation fighter jets

Pentagon has halted receiving new F-35 jets after it discovered a magnet used in the stealthy fighter's engine was made with unauthorized material from China.

The part was observed by Lockheed Martin - the aircraft's maker, the Defence Department, the company confirmed on Wednesday (local time).

Earlier on August 19, the Defence Contract Management Agency had notified the F-35 Joint Program Office that an alloy used in magnets in the F-35's turbomachine pumps was produced in China, office spokesperson Russell Goemaere said in a statement.

The program office "temporarily paused the acceptance of new F-35 aircraft to ensure the F-35 program's compliance" with defence regulations "pertaining to specialty metals," Goemaere said.

Though Lockheed makes the aircraft, Honeywell produces the turbomachine.

In late August, Honeywell was notified by one of their third-tier suppliers for the turbomachine that they were using alloy sourced from China which was then magnetized in the United States, according to a statement from Lockheed.

"Out of abundance of caution, there is a temporary pause on deliveries," the statement said, noting that the magnet does not provide any visibility or access to sensitive program information and there are no safety issues for F-35s currently in use.

The F-35 Joint Program Office also confirmed the part does not affect flight operations of the fifth-generation fighter jets already in service.

"We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft and there is no performance, quality, safety, or security risks associated with this issue and flight operations for the F-35 in-service fleet will continue as normal," Goemaere said.

Both the Pentagon and Lockheed said an alternative source for the alloy will be used in future turbomachines. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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