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. T

    .......Darn....THIS jet is NOT the one Boehnor REQUIRED the AF to buy..........HIS .....UNNEEDED................UNNECESSARY.....................UNWANTED..........DUPLICATE..............ALTERNATE JET ENGINE..........................

    February 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Johnny 5


    February 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pedro Lopez

    Our tax dollars at work.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MN Bob

    Pass the pork please!!

    February 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Carl

    Great piece of journalism here, you guys. Wow so much detail this would be great dinner conversation. I think you need to learn the line between at "tweet" and and actually "story".

    February 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petercha

      Agreed. You'd think they could do a LOT better.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolomite

      "This story is developing. We'll have more shortly." Learn to read and write before you post nonsense comments.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lone

      Go look up the history of the project for yourself. There is nothing of importance to detail here that isn't already stated. The only reason it is making the news is because of it being a too big to fail lemon.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Canada

    We were going to buy these Jets. and then the price got higher... and higher.... and higher...

    February 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad76

      And the red tape too, oh my gosh!

      February 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph L Cooke

    Just write F-35 or F-35 fighter – readers know it's a jet. And, the reporter and editor won't sound like such amateurs.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. charles darwin

    Sound like good national security to publicly announce all of our major fighter jets are out of service.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      They are not yet a major portion of our defense. Besides grounding of an entire type of aircraft is rather hard to keep concealed.


      February 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • B. Horrible

      Those jets were never in service. This is the new fleet that's going to be phased in over the next decade. Our current fleet of light fighters (F-16s for air force and F/A-18 for navy) are all still flying. The only thing this may change is how soon those will get replaced.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pedro Lopez

      Notice that the F16 was from the 70's as was the A10. The A10 was one of the most useful aircraft, along with the 1950's vintage B52, In Iraq and Afghanistan.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      Yes, both of those airframes are timeless but you also have to realize they have different requirements. An A-10 is a ground attack platform and cannot perform its duties without air superiority. The same goes for the B-52. I love both of these aircraft but fighters and F/A aircrafts will always have to continue to be upgraded. Fly by wire won't work against a J-20.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Majority of our air superiority fleet is the F-15 and other legacy aircraft. Article says 51 F-35s, if a majority of the US air fleet is 51 fighters I'm concerned. As it stands not really a big deal or particularly surprising. I wouldn't put a whole lot of weight on foreign designs until something concrete can really be established, the J-20 is not a production aircraft for China nor does any other country have numbers of an advanced fighter, much less reason, to make this a real issue

      February 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Scott

    Not unusual for new technology. Given the complexity of this aircraft it has had very few design issues.


    February 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      and higher..... and higher....

      February 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeerBrewerDan

      See: Boeing, 787.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      agreed. it's still working out a couple kinks which is to be expected on a jet fighter

      February 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hello

    Why not cancel $85 billion worth of these (~20%) and avert the March 1st automatic funding cuts?

    February 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • notyer

      Because military spending has basically morphed into a giant corporate welfare / jobs program.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      hello... and what? Write that money off? Start again at zero? And use what to replace the aging F-16/F15 fleet? Those birds are rapidly reaching their service life, and something new is needed to replace them (option is to but more 4th generation craft new, but they don't have a great combat life against existing technology. Keep in mind the F15/16 is 30+ yrs old technology wise). It takes over a decade to design, build, test and get to IOC in-use at bases. Do we have that luxury?
      One crack can be just that, or it could be a design issue. Time will tell.
      The cost of these fighters is high(er) due to congress axing the original number, which drives up the cost per aircraft.
      I served 27 yrs active duty in the USAF and have a bit of knowledge about our birds, let alone the acquisition headaches (both AF caused and congressionally hosed).

      February 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitt

    Glad I waited for the 2014 model. 🙂

    February 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AriesRCN

    The F-35 is the worst aircraft that any western nation can get. It has not lived up to promises and even if it did, it would be too expensive for its home nation to put on the front line. FA-18 Super Hornet is older but can perform the duties required effectively and much cheaper than the F-35 Flying Lemon

    February 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkbeforeyoupost

      The F18 is no match for an F35 – the F18 has 30 year old technology.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JaggedBlue

      A plane that is grounded is no match for a plane that actually flys.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • AriesRCN

      All the F-35 can do is be a flying target. The Super Hornet is old but can take down the F-35 with ease, if the F-35 can fly

      February 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bruce B

    So I do understand why CNN or any other News org would publish the story. It's news! What I don't understand is why the US Military feels it needed to tell us. Telling us (the USA citizens) also tells THEM – Them that hate us, would hurt us etc. Them that need not know this is China, Iran, N. Korea and others. A secret is only a secret if no one knows. If I don't need to know why do we need to tell THEM? If any of these country's mentioned had or have a similar situation, trust me we would not know! Loose lips sink ships and much more!

    February 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AriesRCN

      Its western ideology, everyone knows everything and secrets are apparently bad

      February 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    The cuts are not all going to happen this year. It's over a 10 year period. It nort as bad as the media is making it sound. The military will still increase there spending by 100billion each year.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. joe

    Respectfully, this is a great example of wasteful, inefficient spending. We need strategic cuts across the government and someone to enforce reasonable efficiency, which is lacking...one clear example the massive wasteful spending spree at the end of each federal budget year by almost all agencies.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
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