U.S. military grounds F-35 fighter jets
In this image released by the U.S. Navy, the Navy variant of the F-35 conducts a test flight on February 11, 2011.
February 22nd, 2013
03:04 PM ET

U.S. military grounds F-35 fighter jets

The Pentagon's most expensive weapons system is going to spend some time on the bench.

The U.S. military on Friday grounded the F-35 fighter jet due to a crack in an engine component that was discovered during a routine inspection in California. The fighter is currently being tested.

The Pentagon said in a statement that it was too early to assess the impact on the nearly $400 billion fleet of jets designed for use by the Navy, Air Force and Marines.

The program has been beset by cost overruns and various technical problems during development.

Currently, there are 51 planes in the F-35 fleet.

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soundoff (524 Responses)
  1. Ralph

    Unmanned vehicles and cruise missiles do the job cheaper and just as well or better than piloted aircraft. We can build many for the cost of one F-35. On long flights, one pilot can fly multiple units to the target area and fresh pilots can take over at the target. Pilots can also control aircraft on several different target areas in a day.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Wayne

      What if the enemy jams sat communication between the drone and the base station? Drones are only great against very poorly equipped enemy.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. QZ

    This reflects the fact that America industry is declining.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sean

      funny you say that. I don't know the numbers but the F-35 is a joint program. I don't know the numbers but its like 8 or more countries are working with the US to build it

      February 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    $396 billion Joint Strike Fighter program is waaay over budget.
    This sounds like another program mismanaged by the Military-Industrial Complex and endorsed by borrow and spend Republicans.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Realityblowz

      "Borrow and spend Republicans" Can you remove your head from your rear orifice at least once before you place your fingers upon a keyboard? This administration is spending more borrowed money than any other, and yet you have to get on your knees, satisfy Democrats, and blame Republicans. Democrats and Republicans are sock puppets on the left and right tentical of the same beast. Yet your type chooses one over the other. People that cannot see this are indeed, tools.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • angeson

      You got that right John. Reagan tripled the deficit GHWB added trillions to it, Bill fixed it and "W" flushed US down the crapper. And how is that Star wars weapons system that put US in insurmountable debt working??????

      February 23, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob

      Hey John, great clown posting-You must be part of the low information crowd--

      February 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      angeson, you seem to be ignoring the fact that Obama's deficits over his first two years in office were more than all of W's deficits over 8 years combined.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • nop

      And Angeson, you partisan hack. You conveniently left out Obama who has spent more than all others before him and will probably spend more than all others before him combined by the end of his second term.

      Also Clinton never actually ran a surplus. Get your facts straight and/or stop lying.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Old Navy

    The F-35 was originally meant to be a less expensive, "bulk of the fleet" alternative to the F-22. Instead, thanks to the greed and incompetence of the Military Industrial Complex, it has become even more expensive and plagued with problems. This is what happens when you rely too much on shiny stuff from your corporate buddies, and lose focus on what your military really needs.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      You got that right!

      February 23, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Truth

    And all this is on borrowed money. LMAO. Sadly, a handful of countries got the F-35 cheaper than us.
    Yes, it's the American way. Paying high price for poorly made products (like healthcare) and proud of it too. LMAO.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Wallace

      "Sadly, a handful of countries got the F-35 cheaper than us." Care to post the source of this fantasy statement?

      February 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. anonymous

    money well spent

    February 23, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. eresia

    Wow if only the American government would have came to this forum before building anything for the military. Such a veritable wealth of avionics engineers, defense contractors, and political economists. Whatever would we have done without this board!? Bunch of twits.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sean

      I agree. Everyone here thinks they know everything. I am currently finishing my engineering degree. And I can only imagine how complicated some of these things get.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Wallace

      Good point! 99% of the posters here can't even tell you the features of the features of the 3 JSF Variants.

      February 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Don

    This is all designed to keep the military industrial complex alive and well and probably has nothing to do with military needs. Check and see which politicians where behind this and you will probably see it is their state that benefits, not the military.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. angeson

    It funny Tobacco,Guns,Coal and Big Oil (Everything that destroys like "Hell on Earth") prefers Republican presidents.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • john williams

      Fast and Furious? Benghazi? Not republicans.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hp

    Our bestes friends ever in the whole universe, the Israelis, already stolen and sold the F-35 secrets to China before the paint had even dried.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Billy Bob

    Did I see that right? 400 BILLION? Who are we going to use this plane against? The North Koreans? Last I heard, they might be able to put up a couple of obsolete MIGS, that an F4 phantom could handle. Old Dwight was right. Beware the military industrial complex.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Logan

    I find this horribly ironic because a stealth variant of the time-tested F-15 Eagle is being developed, for far less than the F-35, yet the F-15 will be sold off to poor countries with big bad wolves on all sides, who are probably still using the Fishbeds, whilst America continues sinking boatloads of money into a probably doomed project. I seriously don't understand why this insane arms race is going on with no one right now, as further refinements of the current fleet or a conversion to UAVs would be more cost and time effective yet no one is willing to do it.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Paul

    8 Billion dolllars each for a jet that works no better than the previous cheap generation.......
    Talk about corporate welfare. OUT OF CONTROL

    February 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scratchee

      That cost is not for the individual jets, it's for the all the design and development to date. As more jets are purchased the cost per jet will go down.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. YaValioCacaWates

    The Chinese don't seem to be having any trouble with their F35 or whatever they call it. Looks identical to the USA F35, but without the Lockheed price of course. They are ready to rock and roll.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sdc43

      And you probably think the newly unveiled Iranian stealth fighter can actually fly, too....and you can probably vote just like me. Scary.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry

    450 BILLION $ for 51 JETS????????????????????????? Jesus MAry and Joseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When will the insanity stop????????????????????????

    February 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scratchee

      That cost is not a purchase price. It's the total cost of the program including design, testing, etc.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
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