Tuesday, October 1, 2013

US F-35 jet plagued by shoddy quality control: audit

US F-35 jet plagued by shoddy quality control: audit: The US military's bureaucratic watchdog on Monday accused companies building the F-35 fighter of shoddy management that could jeopardize the reliability, performance and cost of the aircraft.
The Pentagon inspector general cited 363 problems in the design and manufacture of the costly Joint Strike Fighter, the hi-tech warplane that is supposed to serve as the backbone of the future American fleet.
For the United States and eight other countries backing the project, the report raises fresh questions about the technology and ultimate price tag of the F-35, which has struggled with production delays and cost overruns.
The office that oversees the fighter project, the plane's primary manufacturer Lockheed Martin and five subcontractors failed to carry out rigorous "quality assurance" practices, the report said.
The failures "could adversely affect aircraft performance, reliability, maintainability,and ultimately program cost," according to the inspector general office's report.
A number of the shortcomings -- including how software is managed -- could possibly put safety at risk, it warned.