Lockheed, Pentagon cite improved F-35 quality work since end 2012

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:51am EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp has resolved many quality problems on the $392 billion F-35 fighter jet program since a troubling audit by the Pentagon inspector general's office last year, top U.S. government and industry officials said on Monday.

The officials were commenting on a report on the inspector general's audit, which was completed in December 2012 but not released until Monday. The report identified hundreds of quality issues.

The report faulted both the Pentagon's F-35 program office and the Defense Contracts Management Agency for "inadequate" and "ineffective" oversight of the Pentagon's costliest weapons program, which it said could lead to "nonconforming hardware, less reliable aircraft, and increased cost."

The report said the F-35 program office was implementing corrective actions.

The Pentagon's deputy F-35 program director and Lockheed executives cited significant improvements since the inspector general's assessment concluded in December 2012.

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