The agency said in a statement that Lockheed has improved in many ways from the first production batch of the F-35 to the current batch of 14, but “too many quality defects” were not found in the initial assembly. Station found, but only before or after formal acceptance. It also has troops and pilots worried about the F-35 fighter jet.
Despite some improvements, Lockheed Martin risks falling significantly behind schedule, the Pentagon’s Defense Contracts Authority said. In addition, Northrop Grumman (NOC.US) and BAE Systems (BAESY.US), the F-35’s subcontractors, also “have had numerous manufacturing irregularities.”
Production of the fighter jet has also suffered from a variety of problems, including a shortage of engine modules, insufficient warehouse facilities and increased costs for hardware processors required for key software upgrades. It may also require expensive modifications if the F-35 finds major problems during next year’s simulated exercises.
However, international orders for the F-35 continued to rise, with Finland, Switzerland, Germany and Greece the latest overseas customers.