Report: Pentagon halts delivery of F-35s with Chinese engine part - M5 Dergi
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Report: Pentagon halts delivery of F-35s with Chinese engine part

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The Department of Defense has reportedly suspended the delivery of F-35 fighter jets to U.S. military branches (Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps) and various international customers (10 foreign countries), after it was discovered that a metal component for the jet engines derives from China.

In the DOD briefing, courtesy of Politico, on Aug. 19, the Defense Contract Management Agency notified the F-35 Joint Program Office at the Pentagon that an alloy “used in magnets” contained in the F-35’s turbomachine pumps came from China.

Lockheed Martin builds the F-35 aircraft, but the turbomachine pumps are reportedly produced by Honeywell.

The Joint Program Office said this recent discovery won’t affect F-35 flight operations that are already in service.

“We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft and there are no performance, quality, safety or security risks associated with this issue and flight operations for the F-35 in-service fleet will continue as normal,” F-35 Joint Program Office spokesperson Russell Goemaere said in a statement to Politico.

Goemaere then added: “Defense contractors voluntarily shared information with DCMA and the JPO once the issue was discovered and they have found an alternative source for the alloy that will be used in future turbomachines.”

Defense contractors, such Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, must abide by the “Buy American” statute.

This statute, which has been on the books since the 1930s, “requires the federal government to buy American-made iron, steel and manufactured goods wherever possible. A product is defined as American-made under ‘Buy American’ if at least 50% of its constituent parts and/or materials originated in the U.S.

“Since 1933, several additions to that policy have been enacted, and a body of policy, procedure and case law has developed. Federal contractors have had to operate within this framework.”

The DCMA is currently investigating the “casual factors” that led to a Chinese alloy being embedded within the F-35 program, according to Politico.

The turbomachine “integrates an auxiliary power unit and an air cycle machine into a single piece of equipment,” says Politico.

The turbomachine serves two purposes when fully operational:

The machine provides electrical power for ground maintenance, main-engine start and emergency power.
It also serves up compressed air for the thermal management system during ground maintenance.
“Honeywell remains committed to supplying high-quality products that meet or exceed all customer contract requirements,” company spokesperson Adam Kress said in a statement. “We are working closely with DOD and Lockheed Martin to ensure that we continue to achieve those commitments on products Honeywell supplies for use on the F-35.”

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