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. rad666

    I guess other nations do not have to worry about America's air power.

    Jets either crack or suffocate pilots.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjeezy1983

      I guarantee other countries' air forces have just as many, if not more, problems than America's. The difference is that we actually choose to tell people about them and try to keep out pilots safe by temporarily grounding the planes, instead of just throwing them up there and saying "all is well! nothing to see here!" like nothing was wrong.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesus

      goodpoint jeezy

      February 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • rjo3491

      Mjeezy, US Pilots were punished and grounded for speaking out loud about the F-35 problems. Don't get all puffy chested, we're no better than anyone else.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ViperDriver

      Actually, there is about fifty years of anecdotal proof that our Air Force is, in fact, better than anyone else's. Carry on.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rad666


      Other than WWII, which nation that has attacked America, has America beat in a war with air power?

      February 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ViperDriver

      "Other than WWII, which nation that has attacked America, has America beat in a war with air power?"

      Was this a serious question? Or did you just phrase it in a remarkably stupid fashion? First, "fifty years" doesn't go back to WWII, because I, as a member of the Air Force, would have to contend that we did not HAVE the best AF in WWII by any metric other than the simple fact that we, ah, WON. Second, being "attacked" is completely irrelevant. Power projection is power projection. We have conducted operations nearly entirely with air power–Bosnia and Kosovo, for example. Iraq's Air Force sustained such a ridiculous beating the first time around that they buried their jets rather than flying them the second time. The list could go on, but my popcorn is done so I have to enjoy the other commenters now.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      rad- I hope you are not as uniformed as you seem. Air superiority is not just dogfighting. It involves our jamming and deep strike capabilities against defended targets. Fighter aircraft are meant to ensure these assets have protection from other aircraft. Asking such a loaded question about what war we have won with a standing airforce is very narrow minded and shows a lack of understanding when it comes to warfare. Deterrence has always been the best capability of every good aircraft.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CC

    Send them back and we can save the $400B for domestic use like ailing bridges.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • juanmoretime

      How can you send them back, if they've been paid for? duh?

      February 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrdenali

      If you keep the receipt. duh!

      February 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Umm...

      Perhaps you're not realizing that a large portion of that money was just in getting those planes INTO production. There have been so many problems with the F-35 program just to get them to this point that the $400 billion is money already spent. They already scrapped one next-gen plane after spending hundreds of billions of dollars that to scrap these would make both projects a $1 Trillion complete waste of everyone's time and money.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JM

    Be happy they found the crack. The technology and innovation involved to make such an advanced aircraft is what makes it so expensive. The price tag should drop on the next gen for cost effectiveness. this plane has no match and the J22 at best with most advanced innerds could possibly creep up on it. Craft is way too advanced for its time. It still takes a skilled and well experienced pilot to set the difference.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rad666

    Time to invest in the Death Star.

    That will be money well spent.

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

      Don't be too proud of this technological terror you have created. The power to destroy planets is nothing next to the power of the Force.

      Thanks, this made my day.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rosslaw

    Expensive! Speaker of the House Tan Man has plant in his district which makes F-35 engines which will never be used unless the current engines turn out to be useless. Two separate sets of engines, only one of which will likely be used. total cost of Tan Man's boondogle-$6 billion. Remember to cut the deficit.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SR

    The edsel too was ahead of its time. Save money do we really need this airplane probably not

    February 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Baalzabarber

    lets just fly them over enemy territory as is. As good as a missile

    February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Minipins

    I guess we can blame George Bush for this.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • juanmoretime

      You can't blame bush, it was under development way before he became president.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dangle13x

      Hilarious. Seriously, you are so witty. Sarcasm is so intellectual.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • phred

      That's true. Bush was a moron.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GEmike

    Guess we needed that second engine program after all.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ER

    That is a lot of friggen moeny ... sheesh!

    February 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg Faith

    Ask Mattel what should be done to fix this issue.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RunForTheHills

    Just another multi-billion dollar military-industrial complex welfare program costing hundreds of billions of dollars and accomplishing nothing.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dangle13x

      Spoken like a mongoloid with zero clue as to how the world works. Congrats on being so ignorant.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tory

      Well at least you guys have stealth fighter jets 🙂 Get with the technology man

      February 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      stealth is "old" technology there "run for the hills"

      February 22, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. citizenUSA

    So it seems that many have stated what theirs, and the lives of their families and fellow Americans, are worth.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EVN

    Three different versions of one plane built by committee for an enemy that really no longer exists. Too short of a range to be an effective carrier jet without also requiring carriers to get closer to shore. Oxygen mask issues with pilots blacking out and now a crack in the engine. The plane that was never ready for a prime time that will never come, yet the U.S. is throwing money at it like there was no tomorrow. Utterly, completely, totally fricking amazing! America's enemies are going to end up winning because we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy and defeat.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mick

    Oh Canada .... "coulda , woulda, shoulda" ... we would prob be into our 4th generation of the latest concept of the Avro Arrow by now with all the bells and whistles ... but alas, we've been wasting billions on F101 Voodoos / F105 Widow-Makers / F18 Hornets and the soon-to-be F35 Lightings ...

    February 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • billmosby

      It was a truly great design. But about 60 years old now. Aside from the C-130 and B-52, few designs have been that long-lived, even if greatly updated. And no fighters or interceptors have even come close.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
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