U.S. Halts F-35 Deliveries Over China-Made Component
The Pentagon has suspended deliveries of F-35 fighter jets after a component used in the plane’s engine was found to be sourced from China. Lockheed Martin, the U.S. company that builds the F-35s, said the component is a magnet on the plane’s turbomachine pumps which was made with a cobalt and samarium alloy that originated from China. The Pentagon said the magnet containing the alloy used in part of the integrated power package posed no security issue. “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, said Defense Department spokesperson Russ Goemaere. Lockheed Martin has found an alternative source of the alloy for future deliveries. The company voluntarily reported the non-compliance and a review is under way to determine how it happened. The Pentagon did not disclose how many aircraft deliveries are now delayed or how many had the Chinese alloy, according to CNN. The company is scheduled to deliver up to 153 F-35s in 2022 and has delivered 88 so far.