(Adds supplier information, stock price)
By Lewis Krauskopf
Aug 29 United Technologies Corp's Pratt
& Whitney unit briefly suspended delivery of the engine for the
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet in May because of questions about
titanium provided to a parts supplier.
Pratt said on Friday it discovered conflicting documentation
in late May that raised questions about the origin of the
titanium, which was also used in parts for engines made by its
Pratt & Whitney Canada division. The Lockheed Martin Corp
F-35 strike fighter is the Pentagon's costliest weapons
Pratt determined very quickly that the material did not pose
a flight safety risk, company spokesman Matthew Bates said in an
"While the tested material may not meet every Pratt &
Whitney material control standard, our engine designs have
significant amounts of margin and, based on our engineering
assessments, such material does not pose a risk to safety of
flight," Bates said.
Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the F-35 program office,
agreed that the material does not pose a risk to flight safety
and said the part "will be replaced by attrition."
Bates said Pratt reported its concerns at the time to the
U.S. Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigation Services unit,
the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the U.S.
Attorney's Office. A federal investigation is being conducted
into the source of the titanium, whose origin remains unknown,
Pratt said it was no longer accepting parts made from
material provided by the supplier, A&P Alloys. A&P Alloys did
not immediately respond to requests for comment late on Friday.
Bloomberg News initially reported the titanium issue.
Engine deliveries for the F-35 program have been suspended
since a separate June 23 incident, in which the engine on an Air
Force training jet broke apart and caught fire just before
takeoff from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Company and military officials are investigating the cause
of the Eglin incident. Bates said that Pratt and has a potential
fix and plans to conduct tests next month.
United Tech shares closed down 1 percent at $107.98 on
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Jonathan Oatis,