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Lockheed's F-35 Parts Often Aren't Ready to Use, Watchdog Finds

  • Pentagon fails to verify data buttressing claims for bonuses
  • Lockheed received $10.6 million in potentially flawed bonuses
A United States Air Force F-35B Lighting II jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp.

A United States Air Force F-35B Lighting II jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Updated on

Lockheed Martin Corp. has failed to supply ready-to-install spare parts for its F-35 fighter -- from wheels and tire assemblies to seats -- and may have been overpaid as much as $10.6 million in bonuses, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general.

“We determined that the DoD did not receive ready-to-issue F‑35 spare parts in accordance with contract requirements and paid performance incentive fees on the sustainment contracts based on inflated and unverified” hours that Air Force and Marine Corps planes would be ready to fly, the Pentagon’s internal watchdog said in a report released Monday.