Pentagon withholds $47 million from Lockheed on F-35

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Funds will be locked up until deficiencies are corrected.

The Pentagon is withholding $46.5 million from Lockheed Martin because of ongoing deficiencies with a system used to track costs and schedules for the F-35 fighter, Bloomberg reports.

The F-35 has been criticized for delays and growing costs. Program costs are at an estimated $395.7 billion for eventual production of 2,443 planes, up 70 percent from the $233 billion projected in 2001, adjusted for inflation, according to Bloomberg.

The funds being withheld won’t be released until all the deficiencies in the system are corrected and it “regains approval status,” a spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

A Pentagon rule, effective August 2011, required new contracts to spell out arrangements for withholding payments if there are any glitches. The most the Pentagon can withhold from billings under the regulation is 5 percent.