Lockheed Martin Corp. delivered 91 of its F-35 jets in 2018 as promised, but only 54 were “on-time” based on monthly contract targets -- and 19 of those were reclassified from “late” in a settlement of production issues with the Pentagon.
The tardy deliveries mark the fifth consecutive year in which Lockheed’s missed the monthly dates, which are different from annual targets agreed to with the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, according to the Defense Contract Management Agency.
The 91 deliveries were “an encouraging milestone” but Lockheed didn’t meet “all their monthly contracted delivery requirement dates,” Joe DellaVedova, the program office’s spokesman, said in an email. The office has developed a set of incentives for Lockheed “to further implement efficiencies to improve aircraft final assembly,” he said.
He said the change in categorizing the planes “was in no way an attempt by Lockheed Martin or the program office to ‘boost’ deliveries. The modification was part of a contract settlement action on other production-related issues.”
The fighter remains dogged by delivery delays and deficiencies as it heads into increased production. The F-35 entered the crucial one-year phase of intense combat testing required to proceed into full production with 917 unresolved deficiencies, 15 of which are regarded as “must-fix” potential safety or combat capabilities problems. (end of excerpt)
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