US Grounds Entire F-35 Fleet

Runway fire is new setback for $400B program
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2014 4:16 AM CDT
US Air Force Col. Roderick Cregier flies his F-35, right, next to an F-16 before landing at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz.    (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
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(Newser) – A new setback for the Pentagon's costliest weapons program: The military's entire fleet of 97 F-35 fighter jets has been grounded while the military probes a runway fire on one of the jets last month, reports CNN. "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," a Pentagon official says. Officials in Australia and South Korea say they haven't changed their plans to buy scores of the single-engine fighters, Reuters reports. The F-35 program, which has cost the military almost $400 billion, was grounded last year when a cracked engine blade was discovered. (Read more F-35 stories.)

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