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Pratt & Whitney Subpoenaed on C-17 Engine Maintenance

The Defense Department has subpoenaed United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney engine unit for the records of more than $1.5 billion worth of maintenance work on the Air Force's C-17 Globemaster, according to a Bloomberg report.

Pratt & Whitney failed to respond to requests for information from the Air Force and the Defense Department as well as the Pentagon's inspector general for information regarding the maintenance, according to Bloomberg's report. It also failed to provide sufficient information on costs for work on the C-17 versus a comparable commercial engine, according to Bloomberg's report.

Following these failures to provide information, the IG said the Air Force's C-17 maintenance program was at "high risk of paying too much," Bloomberg reported. The subpoena was issued Oct. 27, but not made public until Bloomberg's report on Tuesday.

Nearly two months later, Pratt & Whitney had not yet responded to the subpoena, according to the DoD IG's audit issued Dec. 22. Matthew Bates, a Pratt & Whitney spokesman, told Bloomberg the company was "devoting substantial effort to gather the information requested."

He went on to explain that the company has been working on providing the correct data to the Pentagon, but the engine maintenance program is "not designed" to track data the DoD IG is seeking.

Pratt & Whitney has come under fire from the Pentagon over the past year. The company also builds the F-35 engine. The F-35 was grounded over the summer after aircraft caught fire. The investigation found that the fires were caused by micro fractures in one of the engine's three-stage fan sections.

Pentagon leaders have also pointed fingers at Pratt & Whitney for not finding the cost savings as the F-35 program has ramped up and production costs were supposed to go down. The F-35 makes up 17 percent of the cost of the $398 million aircraft.

-- Michael Hoffman can be reached at Mike.Hoffman@military.com

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