William LaPlante, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, has signed a waiver allowing DOD to accept lots 13 and 14 deliveries of the Lockheed Martin-built (NYSE: LMT) F-35 fighter jet.
“Acceptance of the aircraft is necessary for national security interests,” LaPlante said in a statement published Saturday.
In late August, the Pentagon paused F-35 deliveries after discovering that China-made alloys were used in magnets within the aircraft’s Honeywell-built (Nasdaq: HON) turbomachines.
LaPlante noted in September that he was willing to sign a waiver to get the F-35 production line moving again provided that those discovered components do not pose any safety or security risks.
The acquisition chief said the national security waiver covers 126 aircraft set to be delivered under a production contract for lots 12 through 14 and applies until the last fighter jet is accepted under that contract. Final aircraft delivery for these batches is projected for Oct. 31, 2023.
LaPlante will keynote the Potomac Officers Club’s Defense Technology Summit: FY2023 Budget and Priorities on Oct. 25. Visit our POC Events page to register for this summit and to view our full calendar.