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. Clint

    We have spent billions and billions on fighter pilot training and their cool planes over the decades. Since 1980 how many air to air kills have they gotten, and what would be the breakdown cost on each kill. They make cool movies and nice to look at, but the investment into air to air combat is a waste of money. Also, a drone aircraft designed for air to air is going to smoke a fighter pilot. They can process the situation faster and handle higher g-loads, the day is going to come.

    February 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JEM

      They are also very effective precision bombers.
      They are far more valuable as bombers able to
      evade anti-aircraft defenses than as air to air dog-fighters.

      Of course the plane has to work if it is to be useful as
      a bomber or dog-fighter. I understand the Navy version
      can't land on a carrier because the hook is too short to reach
      the cable and they can't simply lengthen the hook because of
      the need to redesign its stowage place.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sdk10

      Absolutely no clue, have you? Drones are not autonomous, they require a pilot.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • 2nd Amendment

      You can't hack a pilot...

      February 24, 2013 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Zoglet

    $400 billion for a jet that doesn't work properly!
    DO the guys that ok'd this want to buy a bridge?
    Just think of the schools or hospitals or both this could have built!

    February 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • lagi

      i rememer f22 was also useless. cant lockhead make anything that works?

      February 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. voriand

    Cancel this over budget charity contract to Lock Mart already. Defense sequester solved.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JEM

    Had Boeing been chosen to build the F35 instead of Lockheed, we wouldn't have these problems.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BadBattery

      Fascinating statement. Have you seen any Boeing 787's flying in the past few weeks? Really, "no issues" with Boeing aircraft? I'm sure United, ANA, and the other carriers with 50 useless birds on the ground would love to hear that . . .

      February 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex Santana

    Ha..if Boeing had built them, they would have had MORE problems...thank God Lockheed Martin built it....Boeing means BAD in German!

    February 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. retiree

    And the noise at Fox News believe and the former Romney campaign believed that no one should question military spending. This is a must! The Air Force will spend $1.15 for a rivet that you can purchase at Home Depot for 2-3 for a nickel. There is plenty of abuse in military spending.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Daedalus

    This is what you get when you design a plane by committee... no plane, and almost half a trillion USD down the drain.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    Everyone can complain about the cost and the problems, but these are the planes that, one day, may save all our lives. Quit complaining, and be grateful we live in a country that spends to be prepared to defend itself.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Dobbs

      Yes, thank goodness for absurdly expensive weapon systems that don't work properly. How did we ever live without them?

      February 24, 2013 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. kortee

    could be a whistle blower on this project.....

    February 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DJ Reality

    We have air frames waiting that can replace this plane . The f-15-E is a great aircraft. We have the avionics. We have the weapons platforms. The F-35 is so over priced, It is impractical The F-15 E is far more available, and much more upgrade-able. .

    February 24, 2013 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chris P

    So this is the excuse for our pilots being in China right now training (them).

    February 24, 2013 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Al

    Come you masters of war.

    February 24, 2013 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    $400 billion for 51 planes!! And republicans want to cut medicare and social security to millions of Americans. Can you say INSANE!

    February 24, 2013 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • LearnToRead

      $400B for the entire program. There are almost 3,200 planes in the program funded by 11 countries. That said, it's still plagued by major issues and cost overruns.

      March 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    Most of the fighters are named after birds right? Falcon, eagle etc.

    Got the perfect bird for the '35...

    Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the F-35 Albatross

    February 24, 2013 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • TooLate

      That was already taken by a floating aircraft called the HU-16

      March 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. New Veteran

    I will take a B52 bomber anyday over any of the new bombers, Just the noise from the engines high up in the sky put fear into the enemy, not to mention its payload

    February 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
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