Danger Room: Engine Crack Grounds Pentagon’s Entire Fleet of Future Stealth Fighters

22.02.13

Categorie: Air, David Axe, Stealth, Wired |
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An F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base in California. <em>Photo: Air Force</em>

An F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Photo: Air Force

by DAVID AXE

The U.S. military’s entire fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters has been grounded, owing to a crack in the engine of one jet. This is at least the fourth full or partial stand-down of the F-35, the Pentagon’s main future fighter, in just the last two and a half years.

“On Feb. 19, 2013, a routine engine inspection revealed a crack on a low pressure turbine blade of an F135 engine installed in a … test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California,” Kyra Hawn, a program spokeswoman, wrote in a statement.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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4 Responses to “Danger Room: Engine Crack Grounds Pentagon’s Entire Fleet of Future Stealth Fighters”

  1. Trey H. says:

    Dave,

    If you were king, and didn’t have to worry about congress or defense contractor lobbyists or any of that crap, what type of jets would you buy for the Air Force (let’s set the Navy and USMC issue aside for this post)?

    Would you purchase more of the latest block of the F-15 and F-16, perhaps some of the enhanced models made available for export to South Korea and Israel (respectively)? Would you buy a foreign gen 4.5 fighter that’s already “off-the-shelf” like Typhoon, Rafale, or Gripen? How about the Super Hornet?

    Would you punt the issue, and keep the existing fleet of F-15s and 16s flying and hope that some radical improvement (a new set of high-performance UAVs, some Gen 6 wunder fighter) shows up in the 10-15 year horizon?

    Continue to try to grind out the F-35, troublesome as it has been?

    None of the above?

    Trey

  2. Ant says:

    I think I’d grind it out. Shame it has to be a choice though- a few more of the good old 15s 16s and 18s would be nice as the 22 and 35 aren’t going to make a huge fleet.

  3. jimmy says:

    I have an inkling that some time down the road, Obama is going to press Lockheed Martin to replace the F-35 with the F-16XL, just to avoid the Pentagon grabbing him by the neck.

  4. Gildas says:

    Is a fighter bomber that can’t do more than 4.5 to 5 G sustained maneuvering still a fighter bomber? Or just a stealthy, small bomb train that will get you killed if the a mig21 gets into visual range?

    Just askin’

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