Pentagon Grounds Troubled F-35 Fighters After First Crash

All US F-35s grounded worldwide

All US F-35s grounded worldwide

Britain said the Pentagon measure did not affect all of its F-35s, and that some flying missions had been "paused", not grounded.

The F-35 is the largest and most expensive weapons programme of its type in the world.

The planes are created to be the next generation of fighter jets, capable of carrying bombs and missiles but also rigged up with cyber capabilities - seen as a critical function for 21st century battlefields.

Preliminary data from a Marine Corps F-35B that was completely destroyed in a SC crash last month showed a potential problem with a fuel tube, officials said.

But the MOD said F-35 flight trials from the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, were continuing and the programme remained on schedule to provide United Kingdom armed forces with "a game-changing capability". If good tubes are already installed, then those planes will be returned to operational status.

According to the Marine Corps Times, "investigators. suspect there is a widespread problem with the advanced fighter's fuel tubes".

In that incident, a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B crashed at about 11:45 a.m. into an uninhabited marsh island near the Grays Hill community.

The Defense Department announced Thursday that all F-35 fighter jets, which are made in Fort Worth, will be grounded for inspection after a crash last month in SC.

"If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced", Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman with the Pentagon's Joint Program Office, which oversees the F-35, said in a statement.

"From the ongoing investigation, I am glad that the Department of Defense took swift and decisive action to keep the F-35 fleet and its pilots safe", said Turner, who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on tactical air and land forces.

During Wednesday's hearing, Sen.

Other nations that have signed contracts to join the F-35 program include the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway, according to the Pentagon.

"I know it's a complex aircraft, only took nearly two decades to procure and develop which, that's a whole other topic for a whole other hearing", said Sullivan, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel on readiness and management support. If the aircraft has those, they will be replaced.

By comparison, Sullivan said Delta Air Lines fleet readiness is about 86 percent.

An official report questioned earlier this year whether the F-35 was ready for combat after dozens of faults were found.

"It's causing problems now", said Pendleton, GAO director of defense capabilities and management.

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