The Pentagon’s brand-spankin-new fleet of F-35 jets did not come cheap — costing an estimated $US1 trillion to build and operate. So why are they sitting on tarmac instead of patrolling the skies, blowing shit up to defend my freedoms?
“The power system that starts and cools the aircraft failed during an engine ground test,” reports The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Besides starting the main engine, the failed system provides A/C to the pilot and generates back-up power. This isn’t the first (or second) time the F-35 has been grounded within the last year. A software glitch shelved the planes last October while an electrical issue put them out of service again this March.
The Joint F-35 Operations office that oversees has announced that the fleet will stay grounded until engineers get a handle on what’s causing the problem. It “is the prudent action to take at this time until the F-35 engineering, technical and system safety teams fully understand the cause of the incident,” the office said in a statement. And, with $US500 billion in potentital budget cuts looming for the Pentagon, the fate of the rest of the fleet, still waiting to be built, is sudddenly much less secure. [The Fort Worth Star-Telegram via The Atlantic Wire]