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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 has suffered yet another technical failure, with another air-fleet temporarily grounded

The U.S. military and Lockheed Martin have grounded their F-35 fleet and launched an internal investigation into the matter, after a test flight at Edwards Air Force Base led to a power failure.

The Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program Office noted this was a precautionary move, with an unknown date on when the temporary suspension will be lifted.

Pentagon spokespeople confirmed all 20 F-35 aircraft will remain grounded until a more permanent solution can be made. The issue was expressively found inside the F-35's Integrated Power Package, which is responsible for starting the aircraft's engine.

"Once the facts are understood, a determination will be made when to lift the suspension and begin ground and flight operations," according to the JPO.

Since October 2010, there have been issues with the entire F-35 fleet being grounded at least three times for safety and mechanical issues.

The F-35 was grounded after a previous software glitch, along with previous electrical issues that have occasionally popped up along development lines. US lawmakers continue to grow tired of waiting for Lockheed Martin to push F-35 production while also increasing the price tag of the overall project.

It wasn't too long ago when the Pentagon pushed for added F-35 costs, even though the request seemed unlikely. In spite of the technological advantage of the current F-35 over other military aircraft, there have been recent grumblings related to the actual effectiveness of such air superiority. Even so, the first F-35 production jets were recently delivered at Eglin Air Force Base, which created excitement in the region.

Over the next 20 years, almost 2,500 models will be purchased by the United States -- for at least $382 billion -- while eight partner countries want to purchase an additional 750 F-35 aircraft.  It's possible added orders could be placed 

The longevity of the Lockheed F-35 program will depend on how quickly the US contractor is able to fix these continued problems. Partner nations can choose from Boeing, Russian-made aircraft, and a Eurofighter developed by several different nations, if Lockheed Martin continues to struggle.

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Normal For a New Aircraft
By DougF on 8/4/2011 8:53:19 AM , Rating: 5
So far, this is just normal ops. The F-15s and 16s were grounded numerous times in their early history, too. I cannot even begin to count the number of emergency action time compliance technical orders I had to fix on the F-15 in the early 80's. And the bastards who issued them ALWAYS did it on a Friday afternoon, ruining our weekends so flying could resume on Monday morning.

These things usually take a couple of days to sort out, then back to flying ops and/or implement some kind of workaround until the permanent fix comes through. The really interesting question is: "Why is it taking so long to fix the OBOGS* problem on the F-22s?"

*On Board Oxygen Generation System--replaces lox bottles.

RE: Normal For a New Aircraft
By DanNeely on 8/4/2011 9:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. A big part of it now is that enough data to know if something is a random problem in a component of a single aircraft or a design flaw affecting the component in all of them doesn't exist so each problem has to be treated as the latter.

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