The Pentagon has stopped taking delivery of F-35 Lightning II fighters from Lockheed Martin, including at least one aircraft for Australia, due to unresolved corrosion issues.
The corrosion reportedly resulted from a known production error in fasteners that hold composite exterior panels to the aircraft’s airframe. The issue was discovered in 2017 during depot maintenance on aircraft delivered to date.
As a result, the JSF Project Office (JPO) has suspended F-35 deliveries until an agreement can be reached with Lockheed Martin on how the cost of repairing the corrosion would be covered. Since the suspension in early April, a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing heard on April 18 that five F-35 deliveries have been put on hold including three for the US, one for Norway, and one for Australia.