In today’s media climate, even the most ardent follower of the news could be forgiven for falling behind on the complex issues of the day. Between work, family, friends, and the other obligations that make up everyday life, it’s a miracle anyone has time to devote some thought and concern to the plight of civilians in war-torn countries like Syria, or the geopolitical ramifications of China’s efforts to control the South China Sea.

With important and relevant information about these topics split up over multiple stories published over weeks or months, keeping up with these issues can be tough — and it can be even harder to see the ways these seeming disparate pieces of the puzzle come together to form a broader understanding of the topic at hand. Even if you’re familiar with all the pieces, it sometimes helps to get a glimpse of the bigger picture, to better understand where each piece falls into place. That’s the intent behind the Summarizing the News series: in these articles, we’ll endeavor to provide a brief synopsis of important topics, followed by links to articles you can go to if you’re interested in learning more.

The first subject we’re going to tackle is the troubled future of American military aviation: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program.

The F-35 has long made headlines due to technical issues, delays, and cost overruns, but in the past few months, the narrative has begun to shift. Squabbles between the Defense Department and Lockheed about unit pricing, who is going to pay for necessary repairs, and the cost of maintaining the aircraft have led to a number of striking revelations – and that’s just the start of it.

The U.S. Government has stopped taking deliveries of the F-35

The United States and at least two other nations have officially stopped accepting deliveries of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The hiatus is reportedly the result of continued negotiations regarding who would pay for repairs required on hundreds of airframes that have already been delivered.

Last year, F-35 maintenance teams began reporting “corrosion exceeding technical limits” where carbon fiber components were mated to the aircraft’s aluminum frame. An investigation revealed that a lack of protective coating at the fastening points was the cause, suggesting that all F-35s that have already been delivered will now need to be disassembled, treated, and reassembled in order to prevent the corrosive issue from grounding aircraft well before the end of their operational lives. The endeavor will undoubtedly cost millions, as hundreds of F-35s, already delivered to bases all around the world, will require the repair. Lockheed has faulted the DoD for failing to identify the issue, whereas the DoD believes the repairs should be at the expense of the manufacturer.

Lockheed appears confident that the two can find a solution, as they have not stopped production despite the halt in deliveries.