Stealth Fighter Jet Grounded Globally After First-Ever Crash

Stealth Fighter Jet Grounded Globally After First-Ever Crash

Stealth Fighter Jet Grounded Globally After First-Ever Crash

"During this mission the F-35B conducted an air strike in support of ground clearance operations, and the strike was deemed successful by the ground force commander", said a Marine Corps statement confirming the strike.

The Israeli Air Force, which said it also has grounded its version of the F-35 for "several days" of testing, suggested a more definitive finding has emerged in the continuing US probe.

"If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced", he said. If good tubes are already installed, then those planes would be returned to operational status.

The F-35 program is considered to be the most expensive weapons system in USA history.

The Pentagon on Thursday ordered a temporary pause in all F-35 fighter jet flights in order to inspect the fleet in the wake of a crash last month in SC.

According to a source at Lockheed Martin, the inspections are not expected to significantly impact delivery or production of the jets. The Air Force has 156, the Marine Corps has 61 and the Navy has 28.

The United States temporarily suspended operations for its fleet of F-35 fighter jets for 24 to 48 hours to check for possible faulty fuel tubes in the engines of the planes, after a crash in SC late last month raised concerns about whether the part was to blame.

The temporary suspension of flight operations will also impact worldwide partners, such as Israel, that have the F-35.

The pilot, a U.S. Marine, according to officials, ejected safely. Mat Winter, director of the F-35 Joint Program Office, told reporters back in March.

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

"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. The Israeli warplanes, purchased from the USA, are a different model than the American one that crashed. The program is estimated to have a lifetime cost of over $1.5 trillion.

"The US services and worldwide partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft", said Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the F-35 program.

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. F-35s have already been delivered to the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Norway.

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