The U.S. Department of Defense Suspends Delivery of F35 Fighter Jets, Illegally Using Chinese-Made Magnet Alloys
The U.S. Pentagon found that the magnets in the turbine pumps of a new batch of F35 stealth fighter jets produced by Lockheed Martin illegally used Chinese-made alloys and ordered the other side to suspend deliveries.
A U.S. official said Wednesday that the magnets used in the stealth fighter engine were made of unauthorized materials from China. Lockheed Martin, which makes the jet, said: “The problem is related to the magnets on the F-35 turbines made by Honeywell, which contain cobalt and samarium alloys.” Chinese magnets, which have been exempted by former Defense Department officials.
“The F-35 Program Office is suspending acceptance of new F-35 fighter jets to ensure compliance with defense regulations related to specialty metals,” Defense Department spokesman Russell Goemaere said in an email, according to Bloomberg.
He stressed that the suspension of deliveries “will not interfere with the operation of F-35s already delivered to the U.S. military and overseas partners because the magnets do not transmit messages or compromise the integrity of the aircraft, and there is no performance, quality, safety or risk, etc.”.
“Once the problem was discovered,” Gomel said, the F-35 program office “identified alternatives that could be used in future turbine alloy materials.” The suspension of delivery of F-35 fighter jets is only a precautionary consideration. F35 Fighter Magnet
Lockheed Martin said in a statement, “We are working with our partners and the Department of Defense to ensure contractual compliance within the supply chain”, F-35 fighter aircraft can still be safely flown, “We are working with the Department of Defense, Fix the issue as soon as possible to resume delivery”.
The Defense Contracts Agency and the F-35 Program Office cited U.S. law and the Pentagon Acquisition Regulations, saying that the use of special metals or alloys produced in “certain countries” is strictly prohibited under the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations. These countries include China, Iran, North Korea and Russia. The Defense Contracts Administration notified the F-35 Program Office of the violation on August 19. F35 Fighter Magnet
As the “ace equipment” touted by the US military in recent years, the F-35 fighter jet has had constant problems since its service. In 2011, when the F-35 fighter jet entered service, problems such as engine failure, oil leakage, failure of the wing folding device and integrated circuit system were exposed. In 2014, a fire broke out at the rear of the cabin. In 2016, the aircraft’s thermal insulation material shattered and peeled off, causing damage to the fuel tank. In 2017, the aircraft was exposed to a malfunction of the oxygen supply system, resulting in a lack of oxygen in the pilot cabin. In 2018, the aircraft crashed for the first time due to a faulty engine oil pipe. In 2020, the aircraft was found to be damaged by the burning of the tail flame when flying at supersonic speed. In 2021, the aircraft’s engine turbine blades have problems. The above failures and accidents have caused the grounding of F-35 fighter jets in different ranges. Frequent groundings have “frustrated” the U.S. military’s combat power. F35 Fighter Magnet
In recent years, the U.S. military has been busy “patching” the F-35 fighter jet, but even after multiple rounds of patching, the aircraft still has hundreds of problems that have not been resolved, including multiple “Class A defects” that threaten the lives of pilots. The F-35 fighter jet was grounded again in recent days. According to US media reports, due to serious problems with the ejection seat, the US Air Force and Navy successively grounded more than 100 F-35 fighter jets at the end of July, including three types of A, B and C. It is worth noting that the subsequent impact of the grounding caused by the ejection seat may be further fermented.