After crash, Pentagon says temporary pause in F-35 flights

Pauline Gross
October 12, 2018

In that incident, a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B crashed at about 11:45 a.m. into an uninhabited marsh island near the Grays Hill community.

About half of the fighter jets are believed to have a faulty tube, including aircraft owned by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

"If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced", the Pentagon said in a statement.

The DOD said in the statement that if "good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status".

The F-35 joint strike fighter is the most expensive program in the Pentagon's history.

Britain was forced to ground all 16 of its new F-35 fighter jets after the United States government discovered that a faulty fuel tube was behind a crash last month.

The military say that the inspection process is expected to take up to 48 hours. The Air Force has 156, the Marine Corps has 61 and the Navy has 28.

The first USA combat mission conducted by an F-35 happened last month when a Marine Corps jet launched off the amphibious warship USS Essex struck targets in Afghanistan.

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The inspection was prompted by initial data from the investigation into the crash of a Marine Corps F-35B from a training squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in SC.

The F-35 program is expected to cost the Pentagon about $406 billion for 2,456 fighter jets that the services intend to buy, according to the Joint Program Office. Luckily, the pilot of the crashed aircraft ejected and landed safely.

The plant employs about 14,500 people, including 8,800 on the F-35 program.

"The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents", according to the statement.

"We will take every measure to ensure safe operations while we deliver, sustain and modernize the F-35 for the warfighter and our defense partners", DellaVedova said.

So far, the USA military has taken delivery of 245 F-35s, majority to the Air Force. In total, the aircraft program is projected to cost about $1 trillion to develop, produce, field and sustain over its lifetime, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The three USA armed services and global militaries flying the single-engine F-35 all made the decision Thursday to temporarily halt flights while investigators conduct a fleetwide inspection for a faulty part-a fuel tube within the engine-according to Joe Dellavedova, a spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office.

The grounding is in response to data from the ongoing investigation of the Marine Corps' F-35B Lightning II that crashed near Beaufort, S.C. on September 28, according to a statement by the F-35 Joint Program Office. Gen. Amikam Norkin, wants to conduct additional tests on Israel's F-35s.

Other reports by GizPress

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