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. fightef

    There is no new technology in the F-35 or the lockheed cannot improve on perfection in F-16 jets. Jets are like cars. the internal combustion engine hasn't changed. and cars in 1995 are same as now. more fuel efficient that's it.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      So by that logic an F-16 has the same radar signature as an F-35 and can fly as fast? I don't think so. I'm not defending the program but the even the Block 60 F-16 will soon be obsolete.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ViperDriver

      Okay... look...I fly the Viper..and I love it more than my kids...but we used to call it the "Lawn Dart" for a reason. And you seem to have made the argument that the Me. 262 and the F-16 are only superficially different...after all they both have jet engines, right?

      February 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • guyonguy

      What he is trying to say is combustion engines, that use expanding gases, are still inefficient pieces of horse crap invented over 100 years ago. Sure these engines are made bigger and much more complicated since the F-16 engine, but its just bigger and more complicated.

      A better comparison would be a 5 pound cannon compared to 10 pound cannon. Or 1300's chinese rocket compared to a modern day missile. Just bigger and more complicated with a computer attached. Its old technology.

      P.S. Expanding gases are lame.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jared

    this is why the United States is going to go bankrupt. We can not afford crap like this. Also, if you research this aircraft, you will find it is already very outdated, and is not as capable as they state it is.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pushinlemonjets

    The shame is lockheed pushing lemon jets to US military and other defense ministers, and they tested and don't want it. these jets are pushed to them and forced them to buy when they know other jets are better in battle. they've tested the jet and F-35 sucks compared to other jets.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      This jet is currently in development too. Problems like this are standard to development product. People are such idiots on the internet, jesus.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    Artie, the F35 aircraft jet is an important component of the US Airforce. I actually don't think it deserves the credit that it is getting because personally I don't believe it to be anything special, especially compared to the US f-22. However, what makes it uniquley important is that it is being sold overseas. Therefore, this is an opportunity to benefit this economy and allow America to do what it does best: make absolutely amazing aircraft.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • sol

      The F22 isn't any better. All of these planes will be shot out of the sky with todays missiles. They are good for airshows and nothing else. Actually they are good for ruining our economy.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ViperDriver

      No offense, dave, but the F-35 can't be an "important component" because it is not a combat-ready platform. In fact, the first Air Force pilots began training last month.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve

    the nearly $400 billion fleet of jets designed for use by the Navy, Air Force and Marines.

    one item ,

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

      Hey Steve, Robert McNamara tried the same thing during the Vietnam War with the TFX. Didn't work. Ended up being a fighter-bomber for the USAF only.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TallinOK

    The F-35 never has worked. It costs a ton of money, is a maintenance hog, and an electronics nightmare. Cancel the program and have Lockheed refund the money and retire those generals, admirals, and pork barrel politicians that OK'd this mess.

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

      Totally agree.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zwei Stein

      They can't produce a worthy product for that much money...take it back and get a refund.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shinden

      Totally agree. Why buy a lemon when you can use a drone that is a lot cheaper and no chance of putting a pilot in harms way.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • thethirdorder

      You are absolutely correct. Why should the DoD suffer across-the-board cuts from sequestration when axing this one disaster of a program would supply most of the proposed amount of budgetary cuts? It isn't as if anyone is overrunning our skies due to US airspace being defended by F-15s and F-16s.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alligator face

    its no wonder our country is being destroyed from within....this criminal waste of taxpayer money is completely unacceptable.....where is the accountability?.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      Where is accountability for welfare programs? Don't single out just defense spending. At least we can export F-35s. We can't export laziness.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    They were actually grounded because some of the information gathered by the Chinese included details on the F-35 program. Old news.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • guyonguy

      Yeah, the details they gathered was "This thing totally sucks". Then the plane was grounded when China made a perfect replica which some how worked 3 times better.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. jetstechnician

    jet or rocket propulsion is now common and technlogy is easily availalbe. all the research has been done in the 60's and 70's all jets have computer control systems. technology like stealth or verical liftoffs are useless in battle or what jets are for...carry bombing missions or intercept enemy planes..speed is utmost importance.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mystery

    So that's 8 billion per F-35.
    Dang...price of few of them would really help the economy.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      Again, that is not an individual cost for the aircraft. It is the total project cost divided by aircrafts produced but included in that cost is R&D, all the tooling requirements and so on. Cutting one F-35 will not put 8 billion back into our economy.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jam One

    Where are the successors to Clarence (Kelly) Johnson? I guess his credo "BE QUICK, BE QUIET, be on time" no longer applies to the US Aerospace industry. Just a series of embarrassments recently, B787, F-22 and now the F-35. Why do we even need an F-35? Upgrade the F-15 for the Air Force, and the F-18 for the Navy and Marines. To date nothing has beaten an F-15, I doubt even the F-35 could take it on and survive. Just more corporate welfare to the tune of $400 Billion and has not yet delivered. Yet the recipients of this largess are some of the same hypocrites who scream bloody murder when they read about "welfare cheats". I guess if you are going to cheat the system, cheat it big.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alex

    There is a typo in the last line....it should read there "are" 51 planes in the F-35 fleet

    February 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MightyMoo

    I really wish the US Government would go up to Lockheed and say they owe the tax payers a FULL refund of all the money spent on this lemon of a fighter jet.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • gore2030

      Do you also wish the government would ask for a refund if your small business failed? Would you have an NFL team repay your season tickets if they didn't make the playoffs? I agree there should have been more oversight and adherence to the contract but please use some common sense.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeworker

      gore2030 they do read the tax laws if the government can prove that there is a pattern of failed business they can try to recoup some of the money or even accuse you of misuse of a government program. unlike the defense contractors who are not held responsible for cost overruns fraud and failed products

      February 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cpc65

    "Most expensive weapons system" built by the LOWEST bidder.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. geeworker

    and still we pay the defense contractor

    February 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
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