• Pentagon grounds entire F-35 fleet
    February 23,2013
     

    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Friday grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade in one plane.

    The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., of an F-35A, the Air Force version of the sleek new plane. The Navy and the Marine Corps are buying other versions of the F-35, which is intended to replace older fighters like the Air Force F-16 and the Navy F/A-18.

    All versions — a total of 51 planes — were grounded Friday pending a more in-depth evaluation of the problem discovered at Edwards. None of the planes have been fielded for combat operations; all are undergoing testing.

    In a brief written statement, the Pentagon said it is too early to know the full impact of the newly discovered problem.

    The F-35 is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program at a total estimated cost of nearly $400 billion. The Pentagon envisions buying more than 2,400 F-35s, but some members of Congress are balking at the price tag.

    Friday’s suspension of flight operations will remain in effect until an investigation of the problem’s root cause is determined.

    The Pentagon said the engine in which the problem was discovered is being shipped to a Pratt & Whitney facility in Connecticut for more thorough evaluation.

    MORE IN This Just In
    JERUSALEM — Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning Friday,... Full Story
    MONTPELIER — A key Vermont Republican activist is urging party members to skip voting for Scott... Full Story
    MONTPELIER — The Vermont State College system is looking at $1 million in job cuts as it faces... Full Story
    More Articles
  •  
     
    • MEDIA GALLERY 
    • VIDEOS
    • PHOTOS