P-3C concerns may freeze deliveries from Lockheed plant

Washington DC
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US government officials may freeze deliveries from a major Lockheed Martin aircraft factory after finding "quality issues" on P-3C Orion wing components.

A team of inspectors from the Defense Contract Management Agency and Naval Air Systems Command are assessing Lockheed's plans for fixing the root causes of the issues, the company says.

If the inspectors decide Lockheed's plan is inadequate, the team can order a freeze on all deliveries from and new contracts for the factory in Greenville, South Carolina, or order Lockheed to develop another plan.

Lockheed expects the inspectors "will acknowledge that we are making good progress and have confidence in our ability" to fix the causes of the quality problems in Greenville, the company says.

Lockheed's Greenville site is spread across 65Ha (161 acres), where aircraft maintenance and overhaul services are performed in 16 hangars with 31 bays. It is installing outer wing assemblies on 17 P-3Cs operated by the US Navy, plus about 40 more for other P-3 customers.

 
© US Navy

The inspections began earlier this year after "quality issues" were discovered on corner wing fittings on P-3Cs delivered to the USN, Lockheed says.

The company was given a 180-day deadline to develop the correction plan, which expires on 20 November.