Poor inspection blamed for damages to F-15K
Korean inspector stays away from work site in Conneticut
By Jung Sung-ki
One of the three F-15K aircraft delivered by U.S. aerospace company Boeing to the South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) in September had severe defects allegedly due to the poor quality of work at a St. Louis manufacturing facility, industry sources said Thursday.
On Sept. 9, Boeing delivered three of the second batch of 21 F-15Ks ordered under a 2008 contract, following the delivery of 40 F-15Ks under a previous deal in 2002.
But one of the newly arrived aircraft had an engine damaged by foreign objects, and fuel transfer and avionics glitches, the sources said, citing testimony of Korean technicians based at the K2 Air Base in Daegu, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul. The Daegu base is home to the F-15K fleet.
The broken engine built by Pratt & Whitney was immediately replaced with a new one and other problems were repaired, the sources said.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) admitted to the fact, saying the manufacturer provided an extra engine as compensation.
Alleged poor inspections by DAPA inspectors of the F-15K program were also blamed for frequent damage to the F-15K aircraft, the main component of South Korea’s air defenses.
“When one of the engines was damaged by ingesting some foreign object (FOD), DAPA inspectors did not have the experience to thoroughly inspect the engine, so just the visible damage was repaired and the aircraft flew all the way to Korea from St. Louis,” an informed source told The Korea Times.
“When the aircraft arrived, the ROKAF technicians immediately discovered more damage inside the engine — damage that was so severe that it was outside the technical limits for repair and so the engine had to be replaced,” he said.
“The low quality of inspection could have resulted in a lost aircraft. If that had happened over the sea, no one would have found out the truth.”
The source expressed deep concern that one third of the F-15Ks already in Daegu also have broken avionics systems.
These series of problems raise questions about whether DAPA inspectors are properly inspecting the F-15K manufacturing process.
There are five DAPA program managers in the United States. Four of them are obliged to be in St. Louis, while the other is supposed be in Connecticut, where P&W manufacturing facilities are located. But the engine inspector is based in St. Louis now.
“Instead of putting him at the engine maker’s facilities in Connecticut, where the engine maker is required to have an office for him, DAPA decided to keep him in St. Louis,” said the source.
The inspector is an Army artillery officer lacking real technical experience, he noted.
“When the engine maker offered to provide free training on engines to the officer, he refused,” said the source.
A DAPA officer in charge of the F-15K program said the agency decided not to keep a program manager at the engine maker’s facility in order to save costs. The agency had requested a budget to meet expenses for the inspector’s stay in Connecticut, but it was rejected, he said.
Instead, technicians from Samsung Techwin, which is producing the F-15K engine with technical assistance from P&W, are stationed at the engine maker’s facilities, and they are mandated by DAPA to conduct a general inspection of manufacturing activities there,” the officer said.
“The program manager’s office in St. Lous regularly holds a video conference with officials in Connecticut, and the engine inspector comes and goes between the two cities frequently for inspection. So there’s not a big problem in the overall inspection of the F-15K manufacturing activities,” he argued.
المقال من صحيفة كوريا تايمز
يتحدث على ان المفتشون الكوريين فى القاعده الخاصه بمقاتلات الأف15 ك
أكتشفو أضرار فادحه فى مقاتله سلمت حديثآ فى شهر سبتمبر الماضى ضمن دفعه من بوينج مكونه من ثلاث مقاتلات
والأضرار عباره عن كسور بالمحرك
مما أدى إلى قيام الشركه المنتجه برات اند ويتنى بإستبدال المحرك مجانآ لعدم القدره على إصلاحه بسبب الضرر الهائل بالمحرك
وأكتشفو أيضآ عيوب صناعه بإلكترونيات الطائره
على الرغم من وجود خمسة مفتشيين كوريين بخط الأنتاج بالولايات المتحده للتفتيش والتأكد من جودة صناعة المقاتلات المصنعه لصالح كوريا الجنوبيه