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Boeing Settles Allegations of Shortcuts in V-22 Osprey Manufacturing

The company failed to adhere to agreed-upon standards for the fabrication of composite components.

Boeing, one of the most recognizable names in the aerospace industry, is out millions and has some egg on its face after it was caught not fully complying with all manufacturing specifications for one if its U.S. Navy contracts.

The company has long held a contract to manufacture the V-22 Osprey, a vertical takeoff and landing military aircraft. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Boeing from 2007 to 2018 failed to adhere to agreed upon standards for the fabrication of composite components.

The U.S. government contends Boeing failed to perform required monthly testing on autoclaves used in the composite cure process and was not in compliance with additional requirements related to the testing at its facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. As a result, the company has agreed to pay $8.1 million to settle the alleged violations of the False Claims Act.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said, “The government expects contractors to adhere to contractual obligations to which they have agreed and for which they have been paid. Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable contractors who violate such obligations and undermine the integrity of the government’s procurement process.”

Boeing’s settlement agreement also resolves claims brought under whistleblower provisions by former employees of Boeing who worked in composites fabrication and autoclave operations with the V-22 program. They’ll receive more than $1.5 million in connection with the settlement.

The V-22 Osprey is a combat aircraft that uses a tiltrotor system to effectively let it operate as a helicopter and a turboprop airplane. According to Boeing, the production group behind the V-22, known as “Team Osprey,” consists of more than 500 U.S.-based suppliers and employs more than 27,000 people across 44 states.

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