Pentagon halts Lockheed Martin F-35 jet flights to examine fuel tubes

12 October, 2018, 08:10 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Pentagon Grounds Entire Fleet of U.S.’s F-35 Fighter Jets After Crash

Although the Marine Corps is the first USA service to fly its joint strike fighters in combat, the aircraft has been used by the Israeli air force to strike targets.

In the September 28 crash in SC near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft, which belonged to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, known as the "Warlords".

"The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the US Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available".

He added that suspect fuel tubes would be removed and replaced.

The military say that the inspection process is expected to take up to 48 hours.

The world's most expensive fighter jet, the F-35, has been grounded around the world just weeks after its first successful combat sortie, as investigators try to figure out what caused a crash of the plane during a training mission last month.

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.

Britain has 16 F-35B jets and has pledged to buy 138 in total.


The Joint Program Office statement included "international partners" in the flight operation grounding, though the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence tweeted they have only "paused some F-35 flying as a precautionary measure while we consider the findings of an ongoing enquiry".

The Israeli military said the USA has shared the findings of its investigation into the F-35 crash two weeks ago.

The Israeli warplanes, purchased from the US, are a different model than the American one that crashed.

So far, the U.S. military has taken delivery of 245 F-35s, majority to the Air Force.

"The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents", DellaVedova said. If good tubes are already installed, then those planes will be returned to operational status.

The entire global fleet of US F-35 fighter jets has been grounded, the Pentagon said Thursday morning, pending a fleet-wide inspection of engines in the wake of an F-35B crash last month. This allows the plane to hover and land vertically like a helicopter and is a critical requirement for the Marine Corps, which often operates from amphibious ships with smaller decks than the Navy's aircraft carriers. John Pendleton, an official for the federal watchdog agency Government Accountability Office, said there hasn't been enough focus within the Air Force on sustaining the F-35, instead of focusing on production.

It will equip the US Air Force and Marine Corps as well as several of Washington's allies.

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