A fleet of F-35 fighter jets have been temporarily grounded in order to inspect the aircraft after a crash in SC last month.
The F-35 program is expected to cost the Pentagon about $406 billion for 2,456 fighter jets that the services intend to buy, according to the Joint Program Office. Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours, Dellavedova said.
Proponents tout the F-35's radar-dodging stealth technology, supersonic speeds, close air support capabilities, airborne agility and a massive array of sensors giving pilots unparalleled access to information.
The news was reported by multiple outlets, including Task & Purpose and The Marine Corps Times, and comes after a Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II was destroyed in a crash September 28 on Little Barnwell Island, just a few miles from the air station.
On Wednesday, Defense News reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had ordered the Air Force and Navy to make 80 percent of the fleet of key fighters, including the F-35, mission capable within a year.
The Israeli military said the US has shared the findings of its investigation into the F-35 crash two weeks ago.
It was not immediately clear how many aircraft were affected.
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He added that suspect fuel tubes would be removed and replaced. If known properly functioning fuel tubes are already installed, those aircraft would be returned to flight status.
The Pentagon has opted to ground its F-35 fleet after a crash investigation revealed a possible faulty fuel pipe. Luckily, the pilot of the crashed aircraft ejected and landed safely.
Of the 280 operational F-35s purchased to date by US and global partners, only 51 percent are now available for flight, Vice Adm.
While the initial cost of the fifth-generation planes was in the ballpark of £100 million ($132 million), some estimates put the actual price tag at a whopping £150 ($198 million) each. The US government's accountability office estimates all costs associated with the project will amount to one trillion dollars.
The issue as described by the JPO indicates the issue is believed to come from a subcontractor who supplied the fuel tubes for engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
According to Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the F-35 program, the United States and its worldwide partners - including Britain and Israel - have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations for a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft.
"F-35 flight trials from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth are continuing and the program remains on schedule to provide our armed forces with a game-changing capability", a British defence ministry spokesman said. F-35s have already been delivered to the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Norway.