Update: About That F-35 Audit

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The Navy's F-35C

Last week, Battleland broke the news that the Pentagon watchdog is chewing over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. We’ve now got some more details from the Department of Defense Inspector General:

I asked why the audit, and why now. The IG spokeswoman told me: “As part of its oversight mission, the DoD IG frequently reviews programs to ensure that the appropriate processes are in place to achieve a quality product.” But the JSF program is more important than most. “The F-35 contract is not only global in scope, but it is one of the largest Acquisition Category 1 programs ever undertaken by the Defense Department. In this project, DoD IG will assess conformity to specified quality management system(s), contractual quality clauses, and internal quality processes and procedures.”

Auditors will be scrutinizing the Pentagon program office’s oversight of JSF quality assurance as well as digging into the operations of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and at least two other currently-unspecified subcontractors from now until at least the end of August, according to an audit announcement letter linked above.