US /
Pentagon Grounds F-35s Over Cracked Engine
The fighter-jet program cost nearly $400B
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2013 3:36 PM CST
The US Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – The Pentagon says it has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade. The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., of an Air Force version of the F-35. Other versions of the F-35 are flown by the Navy and the Marine Corps. All versions were grounded today.

The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program at a total estimated cost of nearly $400 billion. The 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.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Feb 23, 2013 1:18 PM CST
Another tragic tale. We have the best minds and technology in the world bar none, but when it comes to the implementation of it, unfortunately, American labor and/or management leaves a lot to be desired.
Feb 23, 2013 12:52 PM CST
Military procurement is probably bought and paid for like Congress. They seem to be as useless.
Feb 22, 2013 10:35 PM CST
There were originally supposed to be two different engines for the F-35: the Pratt and Whitney one (designated F135) as lead, and one developed by the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (designated the F136). They were to be form, fit and function interchangeable but using each manufacturer's proprietary technologies. The idea was that if technology problems developed in one, the other could carry on so the fleet would not have to be grounded. OOOPs!