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Pentagon halts F-35 deliveries over contractual dispute

12 April 2018

The United States and two international customers have refused to accept any new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft due to a contractual dispute with the manufacturer.

While F-35s continue to be built, the US and two international customers are refusing to take any new deliveries until a contractual dispute over who should pay for the repair to aircraft already handed over is resolved. (Lockheed Martin)While F-35s continue to be built, the US and two international customers are refusing to take any new deliveries until a contractual dispute over who should pay for the repair to aircraft already handed over is resolved. (Lockheed Martin)

The dispute, which reportedly centres around who should pay the costs of repair to an earlier issue that caused the suspension of deliveries in 2017, has seen the Pentagon halt all new deliveries for itself, with at least two undisclosed customers following suit.

As noted by the Reuters news agency that first reported the suspension based on sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, the US government and Lockheed Martin are at loggerheads as to who should pay to put right 200 aircraft affected by an earlier corrosion issue. While a fix was found for all new aircraft rolling off the production line, those already built now need to be repaired.

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