Pentagon signs waiver for alloy made in China to allow F-35 deliveries to resume

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The Pentagon has announced that deliveries of F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighters can resume.  

A waiver allowing the Department of Defense to accept Lot 13 and Lot 14 F-35 aircraft was signed by William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, on October 8, 2022. 

Deliveries of the Lockheed Martin aircraft were suspended on September 7, 2022, because the turbomachinery of the aircraft, manufactured by Honeywell, contained a non-compliant alloy of cobalt and samarium produced in China. The use of material made in China could contravene the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS), and thus an investigation was launched. 

“Acceptance of the aircraft is necessary for national security interests,” the statement on the waiver read. “This determination applies to a total of 126 F-35 aircraft awaiting delivery or to be delivered under the Lot 12-14 production contract.” 

The waiver covers the period through to the acceptance of the last aircraft due to be delivered under the contract, currently expected by October 31, 2023. 

The F-35 Joint Production Office (JPO) had previously said that the cobalt-samarium magnets did not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft. 


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