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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Filed under: Military
soundoff (524 Responses)
  1. jefnvk

    Yep, F15's and FA18's are the answer.

    I'm guessing the people that are saying that are the same ones that whine when they have to fly on an old MD80, coincidentally a newer plane than the F15 and only a year or two newer than the FA18's...

    February 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jefnvk

      Older than an 18, typo...

      February 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lou50

    good I can almost hear the reduction of the sucking sound on our bank account!

    February 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustputTHEMonCRAIGSLIST

      I want one to resell back to the Airforce ten years from now.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. trollol

    Such an embarrassment. It seems fitting to put the "Made in China" decal on the plane to offset the blame.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • say what?

      This kind of thing is nothing new for aircraft in the early days of development and deployment. This is a non-story. The engineers will figure it out and come up with a fix.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    remember, the price of freedom is not free. however, it has to be a reasonable amount.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mdmarks2

      True. But stupidity and irresponsibility can lead to the sequestration (no pun intended) of freedom for future generations.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Freedom is free. It's the natural state of mankind. Our freedom is not provided by 51 F-35s. We spend more on our military than Russia, China, and all of our NATO allies, combined. We're not buying freedom, we're buying power that allows us to project our political will around the entire planet. There are many free countries in the world, and none of them spend nearly as much as we do on military power. We're really just paying for the right to be the world's only superpower.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeffrey Root

    Wow. With that money we could have a Mars Colony. We could have also had 400 shuttle missions.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 1147979

    Wonder if the Chinese made that part too?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tyf

    A crack in an engine component: not an entire cracked engine–but one part consistently (supposedly) malfunctioning within each one planes engine and if/when the part is re-produced, wouldn't it be fairly simple to replace a single item... It's not like the statement is the whole thing is a bust; there seems to be other motives (like causing the US to be perceived as vulnerable at this time) for this press release.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • say what?

      Vulnerable because we grounded 51 jets???? Trust me, we have a whole lot more. And the whole lot more are combat-proven. And all of our enemies know that. I mean, seriously.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Penny Wright

    Incredible waste of money.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • linc67

      Like you know anything about designing, maintaining or producing an aircraft......yes this is an expensive aircraft, and it should be.....we'll be using this plane for 20 plus years......I just hope we don't sell them to other countries like Israel or anyone else

      February 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The King

    The fraud, waste, and abuse in the "defense" budget won't leave much to defend. What a scam. The US citizenry should vote every politician out that supports these gold plated war toys.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dylan

    Kill it..it's an unneeded airframe. Make new F-15's and 16's with better avionics–it will be cheaper. There isn't an Air Force on the planet that we will fight in the air that is better than us. Isreal is close, but we aren't going to war with them. Most of Iran's fighters are old, broken and their pilots flight hours are miniscule. Kill this plane–it's a waste of money. 400 Billion could keep the sequester from happening.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Campbell

    I wonder how long we could pay for Medicaid for uninsured poor people with this money? We don't need these jets.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BigdaddyUSA

    400 billion for 51 jets? Can't we get them from china for a lot less?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • U get what u pay for

      Yes, but they wouldn't fly. There's a reason why the U.S. is the world's only superpower and the only nation that has ever put men on the Moon. We know how to build really good flying machines. Not perfect, but better than any other country makes.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. topperG

    and we wonder where the waste is....400 billion dollars, and that's just one airframe.......

    February 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wookie Robinson

    Ohhh please CNN, cracked turbine blades happen all the time....... did you get a note from the white house asking you to print a derogatory article about the F-35 because your messiah wanted to cut the program....

    February 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flyboy

      @Wookie: you do know that Republicans cut weapons programs, too, right? And you do know that Congress, not Presidents, decide military budgets. Presidents propose budgets, but only the Congress can decide what the actual budget will be.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Norman

    It seems that Lockheed Martin and Boeing at getting very proficient at building planes that get grounded. Sometimes I feel like a Roman watching his empire crumble....

    February 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
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