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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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By bug77 on 8/4/2011 5:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oxygen failure on one plane? Ground the fleet.
Power issues on another one? Ground them again.

While I understand the need for safety, these are fighter jets after all. They're not supposed to be as safe a family minivan.

RE: Again?
By Amiga500 on 8/5/2011 2:58:55 AM , Rating: 2
There are 187 F-22s.

There are under a 1/10th of that number of F-35s.

Why destroy them in accidents if you don't need to fly them?

I don't think you quite understand the gravity of this F-35 failure. There are a number of functions combined in this IPP - key one being the ACM, or thing that provides air to the pilot. It goes, he dies, aircraft lost.

Additionally, you'll be getting sued by the families of the resultant dead F-22 and F-35 pilots. How much budget ya got?

RE: Again?
By bug77 on 8/5/2011 8:35:29 AM , Rating: 2
There are a number of functions combined in this IPP - key one being the ACM, or thing that provides air to the pilot. It goes, he dies, aircraft lost.

Not really. It goes, pilot looses altitude, oxygen comes back, problem solved. But by grounding the whole fleet, you loose numerous flight-hours that could potentially reveal other problems.

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