Pratt & Whitney has sued a titanium supplier for fraud, after questions over the material led Pratt to briefly suspend delivery of its engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Reuters reported Wednesday.
Pratt said that A&P Alloys Inc, in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, "intentionally submitted certifications falsely represent the pedigree and quality of its material," according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on Friday according to the report.
Pratt & Whitney will test a design change this week to fix the issue which caused a massive engine failure aboard a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet in June.
The failure caused the engine to break apart and catch fire, resulting in the grounding of the entire F-35 fleet for several weeks. Flights have recently resumed, although certain restrictions still apply. Following Friday's temporary suspension on delivery of engines due to questions over titanium origins, Pratt sued its titanium supplier A&P Alloys for fraud and breach of contract.
Last Friday, Pratt confirmed it had briefly suspended delivery of the strike fighter engine after it discovered conflicting documentation in late May that raised questions about the origin of the titanium. Representatives of Pratt and the F-35 program office both said last week the material did not pose a risk to flight safety.
In the lawsuit, Pratt said one of its parts suppliers, Lewis Machine LLC, ordered metal stock from A&P Alloys.
Pratt is suing for damages and attorney’s fees arising from fraudulent misrepresentations about the metals and attempts to impede Pratt's efforts to uncover the alleged misconduct, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, A&P's owner denied representatives from Pratt and Lewis access to A&P's headquarters when they were seeking documents and refused to turn over requested records.