The US military has grounded the entire fleet of 97 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets until completion of additional inspections of its single engine.
This incident marks the eighth time that the entire fleet has been grounded and is the latest glitch to hit the $398.6 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.
The plane’s engine, built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies, may have been involved in an accident that saw an F-35 catching fire on 23 June shortly before take-off at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
“Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered, and return to flight will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data,” the Defense Department said in a brief statement issued late on Thursday.
E&T news covered this story in full last week – read more about why the F-35 was grounded again.
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