The Justice Department announced Aug. 1 that Pratt & Whitney and its subcontractor PCC Airfoils LLC had agreed to pay more than $50 million to “settle allegations of selling defective jet engine parts,” stated the DOJ release. Following an investigation that included the Air Force Office of Special Investigation and Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as well as “significant technical and legal” assistance from Air Force Material Command units, DOJ maintained that the two companies “knowingly sold defective turbine blade replacements” for F-15 and F-16 aircraft. An Air Force accident investigation board blamed a defective turbine blade for the June 2003 crash of an F-16 from Luke AFB, Ariz. The subsequent DOJ inquiry focused on the replacement blades designed by P&W and cast by PCC between 1994 and 2003 that the government maintained “failed to meet a critical design dimension.” P&W has agreed to pay $45.5 million and provide $4.8 million in services to reinspect some blades. PCC will pay $2 million. The DOJ announcement noted that both companies had “previously provided corrective actions” that the government valued at $47.1 million.
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.