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. Mikebiguy

    7.8 Billion for 1 aircraft? The ever so gullible American publice is being take for yet another ride

    February 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andy

    400 billion? That is massively excessive.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • F22 GURU

      Should went with the BOEING plane...........

      February 23, 2013 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ron

    The build rate is one F-35 a day by 2016. 3,000?

    February 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. alex

    400 billion / 51 planes...

    Are we really spending 7.8 BILLION dollars per plane?

    February 23, 2013 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Francisco DeCastro

      To have to strongest military in the world.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • narutogrey

      The F35 is super expensive, but to be fair, the majority of the $400 billion were in development costs and fixing the design flaws that cost years in schedule. Building 1 F35 "only" costs $100 million each and will decrease in cost as more planes are built. Considering 1 F35 replaces over $200 million in older capability, it will eventually sort of make it worth the exhorbitant price. In the meantime however, if you just divide total cost per plane, it's an absolute ripoff.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Soyna

      You could build 30 Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers for that much.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      The argument they our required to stay ahead of the enemy is ludicrous what other country will ever spend this kind of money on a single project some how they always seem to place the people above military contractors interest .

      February 23, 2013 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch


      You may be sarcastic and correct me if I'm mistaken but arn't something like 39 of the next 40 highest spenders are allies of the US. The math does not add up.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. greenmilitias

    These military contractors are for-profit companies and they need the earnings or constant revenues or their stock price falls and the jobs in the States who make thes armistice weapons of war. Basically, the military or the country gets ripped off by private military contractors. The technology is no proprietory. Any country can make these weapons. It's just most countries don't justify spending that amount of money when their is no war and going in debt or they cannot borrow the money fund these war machines. Selling a lemon ripping the military? it's like selling junk to slayer. or ripping of a killer selling him defected guns and cheap swords that break in battle.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. greenmilitias

    ripping off a slayer?

    February 23, 2013 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. George

    400 Billion, 51 planes? Now THAT'S what I call free-market capitalism, baby!

    February 23, 2013 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. sj2678

    my bet? the USAF and USMC buy half what they are projecting now, maybe less. USN backs out completely.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. indyfan2

    Have they figured out how to land them on carriers yet?

    February 23, 2013 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. riodeoro11

    Let's be honest – the US has threats but this pork barrel L-35 project doesn't address them. It's just that our congressmen, encouraged by lobbyists for Lockheed Martin love to tell everyone that we need to "stay ahead" in technology. I guess it isn't throwing money out the window because some jobs are supported by the project – it just is a complete waste of money and another classic example of the inefficiency of our federal bureaucracy.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. mitch

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

    Good job. I swear you people don't proof read anything.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. 1st-Sgt TopKick

    This dog don't hunt. Kill the production line now; give the 51 planes to aviation schools across the country so kids can leran to fix planes made of modern materials; and take the rest of the money and use it to go ahead and start building the drone Air Force already planned for 2030.

    Send the old manufacturing guys to the retirement pasture and get 20 – 25 year olds trained on this junk so they'll have the skills to fix the drones.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Constantine17642489;)

    400 billion...my dear jesus chist monkey balls:/

    February 23, 2013 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mitch

    Navy spending is the most reckless of any department in this country. People want to criticize congress but cut the Navy's budget would be the first smart thing they've done in maybe 30 years if not longer.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. JesterJames

    in 10 years the air force gonna be 90% drones anyway, why continue spending that kind of money on something that would only have expected service length of 10-15 years?

    February 23, 2013 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
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