Pratt & Whitney on Monday has denied a report by the US Department of Defense's (DoD's) inspector general (IG) that has raised quality control violations of the F135 engine for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied flight test data and concluded that the reliability of the F135 engines is “very poor (less than half of what it should be) and has limited” progress for the F-35 program, the DoD IG report stated.
Pratt & Whitney in reply to the reports stated that it disagrees with the conclusions drawn relative to engine reliability by the GAO. Our current F135 CTOL engine achieves and exceeds specification requirements (147% of required levels). The reliability of the F135 STOVL engine meets 119% of its current requirement.
“The report incorrectly assessed engine reliability, as it did not account for new designs that have been validated and are being incorporated into production and fleet engines. While the report lists some propulsion reliability concerns, the F-35 Joint Program Office and Services have validated our reliability performance and we will continue to enhance reliability for the fleet as it matures to minimize life cycle cost and support continued high rates of engine availability,” the company said in a statement.
Pratt stated the DoD’s Inspector General’s report “is based on their audit in November of 2014. Since then, P&W has worked aggressively to address the DoD IG's findings and corrective actions. This was an audit of P&W's quality system and F135 contractual adherence, not an audit of F135 product quality.
“None of these findings had any impact on the product performance,” the manufacture emphasized. “None of the findings has, or would have, affected the operational fleet, safety or mission capability of the aircraft or the F135 engine. As of mid-April, P&W has already implemented approximately 60% of our identified corrective actions, and all but one are scheduled to be completed by July,” the company stated.