Earlier in the month, the F-35 Joint Program Office issued an enterprise-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft.

This move resulted in a temporary grounding so inspections could take place. The jets currently undergoing trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth were amongst the first to return to flight.

5 of the UK’s 16 F35s were found to have fuel tubes needing replaced, it is understood that those aircraft remain grounded pending replacement of the tubes.

Lockheed say that if an engine had a suspect fuel tube installed, the part was to be removed and replaced. If the engine had a known good fuel tube installed, then the aircraft could return to flight status.

“More than 1500 suppliers are on the F-35 program and this is an isolated incident which is quickly being addressed and fixed. Safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to take every measure to ensure safe operations while we execute our mission.

The action to perform the inspection resulted from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina on 28 September. The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the U.S. Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available.”

The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents, the issue now appears to have been resolved.

In a statement, the firm say that all US services and international partners have resumed flying with their cleared aircraft.

“The F-35 Joint Program Office continues to work closely with the military services to prioritize fuel tube replacements using the current spares inventory. Pratt & Whitney is rapidly procuring more parts to minimize the overall repair timeline for the remaining jets.

Current inventory will restore about half of the impacted jets to flight operations, and the remaining aircraft are expected to be cleared for flight over the coming weeks.

The issue is not expected to impact F-35 deliveries and the program remains on track to meet its target of 91 aircraft for the year.”

16 COMMENTS

    • just what the media wants, another chance to put the boot in. the knockers have just been given a free kick. this f 35 failings, just goes on, and on,and on. the u.k end order should be reducedA LOT to reflect the failing of the design and performance issues 138 aircraft? i say, make it 100 and let the yanks count the cost of reduced business

    • These two additional posts occurred as the first and subsequent attempts failed to display at the time of posting, so please accept my apologies!

      Again, a delete function would be useful.

    • Italy was never purchasing 90, ever!
      It was just another promise to secure work share that isn’t backed up with $$$$$.
      They will prob purchase 36-48, its a joke they got to do final assembly on the Dutch F35’s

      • @BB85 will any nation including the UK purchase the number they promised? I will be amazed if we end up buying more than 60-80, and certainly not the 138 promised.

    • Interesting, essentially they got what they wanted from the program in terms of workshare and are now looking to reap the benefits whilst not honouring their commitments.

      Unfortunately, this is the EU and our euro partners through and through.

      The US really should trust its oldest and in my view, only true ally more.

      • We are in no place to comment. When was the last time a uk major order was not cut. Does anyone really believe we will buy or ever intended to buy 138.

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