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F-35 Defects Must Be Fixed Before Full-Production, GAO Says

  • Watchdog says 966 glitches in jet program are outstanding
  • Report cites ‘rush to cross finish line’ in decision
A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Updated on

The Defense Department office that oversees the F-35 program was criticized by a government watchdog for its plans to delay fixing critical deficiencies on the fighter until after a decision to start full-rate production is made -- a move that won’t come before October 2019.

The F-35 -- the world’s most expensive weapons program -- had 966 “open deficiencies” as of January, the Government Accountability Office said in an annual report released Tuesday. Of those, at least 180 “will not be resolved before full-rate production” under the Pentagon office’s current plans, according to the report.