F-35 Deliveries Halted Over Repair Bill

F-35 Deliveries Halted Over Repair Bill

REUTERS/Michael D. Jackson/F-35 Integrated Test Force/Handout

The F-35 Lightning II has yet to fire a shot in anger but the Pentagon is already arguing with manufacturer Lockheed Martin over a big repair bill.

The Defense Department has stopped accepting most deliveries of new jets due to a dispute over the repair costs for more than 200 previously manufactured F-35s that developed excess corrosion last year. Deliveries were halted for a time in September and October but then resumed once the jets were repaired at an Air Force base in Utah. Now there's a new suspension, and the question is who will pay for the repair work performed last year.

The F-35 joint program office declined to say how long the current suspension has been in place or when it is expected to end, according to Defense News, but did say that the dispute is a “contractual resourcing issue that needs to be resolved. The government has implemented this pause to ensure the warfighter receives a quality product from industry. We look forward to a swift resolution of this issue.”