Deliveries of New F-35s Resume After Three Months

Lockheed Martin has resumed delivering F-35s to the U.S. authorities, the Joint Program Workplace introduced March 14, three months to the day after they have been halted within the wake of a Dec. 14, 2022 F-35B crash. The primary plane delivered was an F-35A headed for Air Power responsibility.  

The supply comes eight days after Lockheed was cleared to renew F-35 flight operations, following Pratt & Whitney’s growth of a technical repair to handle harmonic resonance points with its F135 engines, found within the aftermath of the December crash.

The JPO has not stated what number of plane or engines have been affected by the problem, however Lockheed and Pratt have stated modifications have been made in manufacturing to forestall the issue. A fleetwide technical order was issued for all F-35s to be inspected and have a correction utilized. Pratt resumed F135 engine deliveries March 2.

Pratt has asserted that the harmonic resonance challenge is a well-understood phenomenon and solely manifested after greater than 600,000 flight hours on the F135 fleet.  

Naval Air Techniques Command’s investigation into the foundation reason for the December crash isn’t but full. Neither NAVAIR nor the JPO have indicated that the harmonic resonance challenge was the reason for the accident, which occurred when the F-35B, in vertical flight mode, nosed down into Lockheed’s Fort Value, Texas, runway from an altitude of lower than 50 toes.  

“The Protection Contract Administration Company and the F-35 Joint Program Workplace resumed acceptance … of F-35 plane right this moment from Lockheed Martin and are at the moment working with U.S. companies, companion nations, and international army gross sales prospects on the motion of plane to their operational models,” the JPO stated in a press launch.

“Previous to acceptance, the plane handed in depth technical and flight worthy checks guaranteeing their readiness for operational use,” the JPO stated.

Lockheed Martin had accomplished however not delivered 26 plane throughout the time the supply maintain was in place. These plane have been cleared to fly since March 6, and have been going by means of the DD250 course of, which entails various flight check checks to make sure the plane are protected to fly and to doc any deficiencies.  

The corporate was not in a position to say how lengthy it can take to clear the backlog of deliveries.

“Resuming acceptance and flight operations was the end result of two and a half months of exceptionally sturdy partnerships with the JPO and {industry} groups,” stated Col. Joe Wimmer, Commander of DCMA’s Lockheed Martin Fort Value operations, in a press release launched by the JPO.

“That work allowed us to confidently resume operations safely, and ship high quality jets to our warfighter prospects,” he stated.

Lt. Gen. Michael J. Schmidt, F-35 Program Government Officer, stated the government-industry F-35 group “labored tirelessly on this effort and their work demonstrates true professionalism and a devotion to perform complicated missions with stringent ingenuity.”