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Lockheed resumes F-35 deliveries from Lot 10

Lockheed Martin re-affirmed its delivery target for F-35 fighters in 2018 despite a nearly two-month hiatus caused by a contractual dispute.

The US joint programme office has resumed accepting deliveries of new F-35s, the company confirms.

Both sides agreed to “effectively and efficiently address the F-35 hole primer issue” that caused the dispute, the company says, but does not elaborate.

Last September, the JPO halted deliveries after discovering that some F-35s were delivered with a defective primer, causing pre-mature corrosion. Lockheed corrected the problem with a supplier, but a contractual dispute lingered over how long it would take to replace affected components in operational F-35s and who would pay for it.

The issue has added a complication to Lockheed’s goal of a production ramp-up on track. Last year, the company met its target of delivering 66 F-35s. In 2018, Lockheed’s target is still to deliver 91 jets that were ordered with the Lot 10 contract.

The JPO signed the Lot 10 contract last year, but that came about 12 months late. Both sides are still negotiating the terms for the 11th lot of low-rate production, another contractual milestone running a year late.

“We are focused on reducing cost, increasing efficiencies and ensuring we deliver the highest quality weapons system to our men and women in uniform,” Lockheed says.

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