U.S. halts delivery of F-35 fighters after discovering that one engine part is Chinese-made

The United States has temporarily halted the delivery of F-35 fighter jets to its international customers after discovering that one of the engine components, a metal alloy magnet part, is of Chinese manufacture.

“We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or damage the integrity of the aircraft and there are no performance, quality or safety risks associated with this issue. Flight operations for the in-service F-35 fleet will continue as normal,” said Defense Department spokesman Russ Goemaere, as reported by CNN.

The giant Lockheed Martin, which is in charge of building the planes, has scheduled at least 153 deliveries this year. However, the Pentagon has not reported whether there will be delays or how many aircraft have these Chinese components.

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“We are working closely with the Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin to ensure that we continue to achieve those commitments on the products Honeywell is supplying for use on the F-35,” said Adan Kress, the spokesman for the company that makes the engines, Honeywell, as quoted by Politico.

Now that aircraft deliveries have stopped, the relevant departments are investigating why these Chinese alloys are in the fighter engines. If the Biden Administration determines that Lockheed Martin has violated the law, called Buy American, which incentivizes the purchase of exclusively American-made products, the company would need a government permit to resume deliveries.

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