WASHINGTON --- Lockheed Martin Corp. has agreed to compensate the Pentagon over parts it provided for the F-35 jet that weren’t ready to install and is in negotiations with the Defense Department over how that reimbursement will be paid.
The nation’s No. 1 defense contractor and Pentagon contracting officers “are now negotiating appropriate consideration for parts delivered incomplete” and sorting out the amount of refunds or equivalent services the company should provide, the department’s F-35 program office said in a statement on Monday.
The parts were considered inadequate for installation not because of safety or manufacturing flaws but because they were delivered without the required inclusion of electronic data, such as a part’s history and its remaining useful life, needed by maintenance crews. Parts aren’t supposed to be installed without the data.
Air crews who maintain the next-generation stealth fighter had complained that they’ve been working extra hours to keep the Pentagon’s costliest aircraft flying because so many parts weren’t ready to be installed.
Lockheed Martin spokesman Brett Ashworth said in an emailed statement that the company “continues to work with” the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency,” the Pentagon’s contractor oversight agency, on resolving the parts issues. (end of excerpt)
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