Home Business Pentagon suspends F-35 jets to check Chinese content Reuters

Pentagon suspends F-35 jets to check Chinese content Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Pentagon building is seen in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Pentagon has stopped taking delivery of new F-35 jets after discovering that a magnet used in the stealth fighter’s engine was made from unauthorized material from China, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The investigation, which began in mid-August, found that the alloy in the engine’s oil pump did not comply with US procurement laws that prohibit unauthorized Chinese content, Pentagon spokesman Russell Homer said.

Hemmer confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm aircraft, and that there is no risk involved.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: ) , which makes the planes, said “the problem is with a magnet on the F-35 Turbomachine manufactured by Honeywell, which contains a cobalt and samarium alloy.” Honeywell International Inc (NASDAQ: ), which makes the pump, said it “remains committed to delivering high-quality products that meet or exceed all customer contract requirements.”

An alternative source for the alloy will be used in the future, the Joint Program Office said in a statement. There are other magnets of Chinese origin on the plane, which former Pentagon officials refused.

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