Pentagon halts deliveries of F-35s after finding Chinese-made engine parts

Pentagon halts deliveries of F-35s after finding Chinese-made engine parts
Pentagon halts deliveries of F-35s after finding Chinese-made engine parts

The US Department of Defence suspended deliveries of F-35 fighter jets after discovering that the metal components magnets used in the stealth fighter's engines were made of unauthorised material from China.



Pentagon spokesman Russell Goemaere said Wednesday an investigation in mid-August found that the alloy in the engine oil pump did not comply with US procurement laws prohibiting unauthorised Chinese content. It is learned that the alloy material used in the magnets contained in the turbo engine pump came from China.

 

 Pentagon halts deliveries of F-35s after finding Chinese-made engine parts

"We can confirm that the magnets do not transmit information or damage 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 fleet in service will continue as usual," he said.

 

Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35, said there was a problem with the magnets in Honeywell's F-35 turbo engine. These materials include cobalt and samarium alloys.

 

 

In late August, Honeywell was told by one of its third-tier suppliers for turbo engines that it was using an alloy sourced from China which was then magnetised in the United States.

 

"Out of an abundance of caution, there has been a temporary pause in deliveries," the statement said.

 

It said the magnets did not provide visibility or access to sensitive program information and that there were no security concerns for the F-35s currently in use.

 

 

Honeywell International, which manufactures the parts, said it would remain committed to providing high-quality products that meet or exceed all contractual customer requirements.

 

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) said alternative sources would be used in the future.

 

It is known that other Chinese magnets in the F-35 jets have received waivers from former Pentagon officials.