News / USA

US Grounds F-35 Fleet

FILE - Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters fly over Edwards Air Force Base.
FILE - Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters fly over Edwards Air Force Base.
VOA News

The U.S. military says it has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets until it completes an investigation into a runway fire involving one of the jets last week.

The Defense Department said additional inspections of the F-35 engines have been ordered. 

Last week's fire at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida was only the latest in a series of technical problems and delays that have plagued the Pentagon's $396 billion fighter jet program.  It is the costliest weapons program in U.S. military history.  Additional delays could raise costs even further.

An in-flight oil leak prompted an inspection of the entire fleet last month. 

The Defense Department said the return to flight of the jet will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data.

A statement on the F-35.com website says the fighter jet "can operate in virtually any battle situations, from paved runways to aircraft carriers to roads and austere bases."  The website says no other fighter has "the versatility and combined capabilities of the multi-role F-35."

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virginia
July 06, 2014 6:05 PM
"The more you overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineering Officer, U.S.S. Enterprise.

Okay, so I jest, partly, with that shameless movie quote.

But it is absolutely true. There is no way anyone, no matter how gifted and insightful they claim to be, can design a weapon platform (like the F-35) to fill so many roles (and be expected to fill so many roles and so many expectations) and be 100% spot on with all of them. In not-so-many-years past, the government would call upon ALL the aircraft manufacturers to come up with something within certain parameters, and then judge the design merits of each to see if any candidates met those requirements. Now, it seems, they take the manufacturers word that something works and fork out billions to see if it does work.

by: Knoziack Chisenga from: Zambia
July 05, 2014 5:46 AM
Mark, I am not an American, but looking at the belligerent and aggressive behaviour of China, Russia and Muslims I can't agree more with you. Yes, America needs, in fact if possible, better stuff than this.

by: Patrick from: Ca
July 05, 2014 12:30 AM
This endless war is rediculous, nobody is going to attack us! Maybe some terrorist but the f35 won't stop that! Stop wasting our money and let's get real, our debt is out of control thanks to progrAms like this, Lockheed should be ashamed. If we want real security we need to look beyond war games and find new ways to build our economy, happy 4th of July everyone, I pray we can come to our senses

by: Mark from: Utah
July 04, 2014 1:18 PM
To those of you wondering "why we haven't got it right with this much money involved", and those of you who say we don't need this jet:
Your comments show your lack of knowledge about designing new weapons platforms and the technical challenge involved. All new systems have problems. Secondly. We do need this jet, along with the F-22 Raptor. American must stand unchallenged in the theatre of air supremacy. Period
In Response

by: Mark from: Virginia
July 06, 2014 6:28 PM
To my namesake from another State of the Union; I am a veteran of the USAF and USMC, I have worked almost exclusively on aircraft my entire time in Military Service, I have seen, handled and worked on many fine aircraft (T-33, T-38, F-5, F-4, F-15, F-16, B-52, C-135, C-130, CH-53 and CH-46, UH-1, jack of all trades, master of none)
Each of these aircraft filled a certain role, performed a certain mission within the framework of the military, and performed them well. Sure, a few had teething problems, as would be expected of any new system or equipment. The F-35, touted to fill many roles previously held by other aircraft, is failing at nearly all of them. They seemed destined to find a place alongside other short-sighted failings like the F-111, B-1 and B-2. (the B-52 is still flying and doing its job while other 'replacement' aircraft are now rotting in the desert)

My point is this; just because it is supposed to do so much, doesn't mean it is going to it all. Perhaps the design expectations are simply more than this single, much like the V-22 Osprey has become. Sure, it works, but it became a very expensive endeavor that still cannot perform as well as the aircraft it was designed to replace.
Better, is not always best. Like the V-22, the F-35 is just another expensive toy for the government to play with.
In Response

by: nvr1 from: USA
July 04, 2014 11:02 PM
Right you are Mark from Utah, air supremacy from the F-35 and the F-22 Raptor ...When they are not broken down on the runway.

And what part of these two boondoggles do you make the part for?

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 04, 2014 1:09 PM
The F-35 has become a very sad program, with great performance expectations, but so far only great costs have materialized. Such bad experiences are just going to end up in more reductions and even cancellations for orders, which will drive the costs per unit to the stratosphere, faster than the plane can reach it. My own gvmt is in great duress, from the public, to walk away and cancel the orders.
Underperforming products or services, inopinion are a problem of leadership accountability; for as long as people making massive salaries, are not held accountable =fired, be it in gvmt or private sector organizations, the programs they are supposed to deliver will continue to underperform in quality and overperferm in exponential cost escalations.
An alternative method for improving production could be that all test aircraft need to have two seats, one for the pilot, and the other for the Sr person of the company responsible for its production, then maybe quality will rapidly improve, one way or the other.
And the excuse that theething problems are common, is nonsense at this late point/stage in the program; the craft has no teeth left.....
Very sad situation for all taxpayers in the US and allied countries with orders on this aircraft; if the sit does not improve, this aircraft will truly be worth its weight in gold or even platinum, and it will performs as if was made of gold..... never get off the ground = a hangar queen!
What a truly disappointing product so far.

by: Marty from: Seattle
July 04, 2014 12:09 PM
The Air Force Base in the story is spelled incorrectly. http://www.eglin.af.mil/

by: Eugene Kyle from: Midwest
July 04, 2014 12:00 PM
With all the money thrown at this project and they STILL can't get it right? There should be criminal investigations going on just like General Motors.

by: Be n Doty from: Clare,MI.
July 04, 2014 11:57 AM
The $396 billion fighter jet program is an absurd example of government waste of tax $$ that Americans cannot afford and is completely unnecessary.We do not need the f-35/or the costl

The costly $396 bil. F-35 & F-22 Raptor programs are an absurd waste of tax dollars that Americans cannot afford & is totally over budget & unnecessary!

by: nigel cairns from: san diego
July 04, 2014 11:48 AM
and the cost is $235,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00, give or take a few more dollars

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs