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America’s $400 Billion Stealth Jet Fleet Is Grounded
Daily Beast ^ | June 28, 2014 | Dave Majumdar

Posted on 06/27/2014 7:50:33 PM PDT by lbryce

America’s $400 Billion Stealth Jet Fleet Is Grounded Plagued by delays and cost overruns that turned it into the most expensive weapons program in history, the F-35 program is on hold after a fire nearly destroyed a plane. The U.S. Air Force has grounded its fleet of stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) after one aircraft caught fire on takeoff Monday at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. While the pilot got out of the stricken jet without injury, the roughly $200 million machine could be a total loss.

“The airplane aborted during takeoff due to a fire in the rear of the aircraft, the pilot egressed safely without injury, and the fire was extinguished,” Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Natasha Waggoner told The Daily Beast.

Monday’s fire is one of the most serious incidents suffered by the long-troubled and expensive F-35 program, and it could be the first time an aircraft has been lost.

The jet was originally conceived in the 1990s as a relatively low-cost way to replace the Pentagon’s myriad fleet of ageing fighters with a single common design. The Pentagon hopes to buy 2,443 of the jets to replace everything from A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes, to multirole F-16 and F/A-18 fighters, to the AV-8B Harrier jump jet. There are three versions of the F-35: one version designed for flying from normal land bases, another to fly off aircraft carriers, and another that can land vertically.

But the JSF program has been plagued with repeated delays and numerous technical problems over it is 12-year history. Many of the problems stem from the fact that the Pentagon decided to design, built, test and fly the F-35 all at the same time rather than sequentially like a normal program.

The F-35 was originally intended to be operational with

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; usjetfleet
This is not nearly as tragic as it sounds.

“As a precautionary measure, the Air Force has decided to temporarily suspend all F-35A operations until it is determined that flights can resume safely,” Waggoner said, noting that such practice is common in aviation. “It ensures the safety of our crews and our aircraft so we can determine there is no fleet-wide issue that needs to be addressed."

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), which manages the roughly $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter program for Air Force, Navy and Marines, does not consider the F-35 to be formally grounded however. “No F-35s have been grounded. Air worthiness authorities did not direct a fleet stand down,” said Kyra Hawn, a spokeswoman for the F-35 program office in an emailed statement. “We expect flights to resume in the coming week.”

The fact that the F-35 JPO has not directed the F-35 fleet be formally grounded suggests that the fire might be traceable to a one-off failure rather than a fundamental design defect.

The F-35 JPO could provide no additional information on what caused the F-35 to catch on fire. Nor would they confirm the extent of the damage to the jet. “We will not speculate on cause of the fire while the investigation is underway,” Hawn said.

The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, which also fly their own versions of the F-35, have not suspended their flying operations.

There are currently 104 F-35 in the Pentagon’s arsenal — split between Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps variants, according to Lockheed.

1 posted on 06/27/2014 7:50:33 PM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

The F-22 (which Obama cancelled) was a superior air to air combat plane. So was the Super Hornet. Once those cleared the skies, flying busses could take care of ground duty.

What a waste of money and resources...


2 posted on 06/27/2014 7:54:35 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: lbryce
This is not nearly as tragic as it sounds.

Good news! Only one percent of the fleet has been lost without ever engaging the enemy.


3 posted on 06/27/2014 7:58:48 PM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: lbryce

For crying out loud just buy some F-15s.


4 posted on 06/27/2014 8:04:31 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: lbryce
How is it that suddenly almost everything is going awry? The US cannot do anything right—from jets, to Iraq, to the southern border, to Obamacare, to lost e-mails, to wind power, to pipelines, to ......... you name it. What is going on? We seem to be on a death spiral.
5 posted on 06/27/2014 8:05:39 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: lbryce
The F-35 was originally intended to be operational

Well, that was the plan, but the requirements just kept creeping ...

6 posted on 06/27/2014 8:06:10 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
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To: lbryce
The F-35 JPO could provide no additional information on what caused the F-35 to catch on fire.

I was reading that they intentionally leak fuel while they're on the ground. It's part of the aircraft design.

7 posted on 06/27/2014 8:08:54 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: Fungi

One word ... “Obama” ...


8 posted on 06/27/2014 8:09:25 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: kiryandil

Is that like the way Harleys mark their spot with oil?


9 posted on 06/27/2014 8:10:06 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Star Traveler
One word ... “Obama” ...

Darn, someone always beats me to it. My thoughts EXACTLY

10 posted on 06/27/2014 8:12:26 PM PDT by GizzyGirl
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To: lbryce

IMO, the United States Air Force needs the following combat force:

100 B2 Spirit Bombers For strategic, Precision bombing

500 F22 Lightning Air Superiority Fighters to clear and hold the sky over contested areas.

500 F16 Fighting Falcon Multi-Role Fighter Bombers for light bombing, precision ground attack and air combat.

500 A10 Warthog Ground Attack Aircraft for ground support of land forces.


11 posted on 06/27/2014 8:14:35 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: GizzyGirl

The incredible shrinking president. Started little, and made America littler.


12 posted on 06/27/2014 8:14:42 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: lbryce
"Many of the problems stem from the fact that the Pentagon decided to design, built, test and fly the F-35 all at the same time rather than sequentially like a normal program. "

uh... is it just me or is this statement just a bit a bit too hard to believe ?

F-35 pre-design flight test.


13 posted on 06/27/2014 8:15:32 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Star Traveler

Thank you. It was a rhetorical question.


14 posted on 06/27/2014 8:18:20 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: lbryce

Are they using that biodiesel fuel?


15 posted on 06/27/2014 8:18:38 PM PDT by Citizen Zed ("Freedom costs a buck o five" - Gary Johnston, TAWP)
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To: UCANSEE2
I do know of a project that went into a Critical Design Review (CDR) to finalize and approve the design, and one of the required inputs for the CDR was a set of "As-Built" drawings.

I said, "Whoa, I think we're getting ahead of ourselves ..."

16 posted on 06/27/2014 8:18:43 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
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To: Rodamala

“For crying out loud just buy some F-15s.”

The fleet that exists now is constantly being upgraded, I’m baffled as to why we don’t just procure some of the newer models like the SJ. I’d like to see what the cost of upgrade, plus constant maintenance on the C,D,&E models is in comparison to procuring new aircraft and phasing out, or mothballing old ones.

And the picture at the link is of an F-22.


17 posted on 06/27/2014 8:22:30 PM PDT by Antihero101607
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To: Star Traveler

Sorry, we can blame Obama for a lot of things, but the military is uniquely qualified in its ability to flush massive amounts of money down the toilet. This predates Obama, and will go on long after he’s gone.


18 posted on 06/27/2014 8:26:36 PM PDT by bigdaddy45
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To: Rodamala

The P-38 will always be my favorite plane.

As a small kid in a concentration camp I looked up and wondered why the two pilots had to sit so far from each other.


19 posted on 06/27/2014 8:26:51 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: lbryce; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; ...

Active Duty ping.


20 posted on 06/27/2014 8:27:35 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Antihero101607

I never defend the F-35.
I won’t really defend the thinking of the DoD.
But I will explain that part of the purpose of the new designs (some good, some bad) is to keep the defense industry alive. Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop and the rest can’t survive on producing simple upgrades. They need new expensive programs. The government typically wants those companies around in case we need them, so we fund them with fancy new programs just to keep the firms alive. For example: if we lose our ship-building capability (and we have little left for big Navy vessels) then we would have an awful time trying to resurrect it. So we fund ships just to keep the shipyards.


21 posted on 06/27/2014 8:27:52 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
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To: bigdaddy45

Go back to the post that I replied to ... Obama is definitely connected to this “death spiral” ...


22 posted on 06/27/2014 8:36:24 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: 353FMG

As a small kid in a concentration camp I looked up and wondered why the two pilots had to sit so far from each other.


The P-38 is next favorite after the P-51 Mustang for me.

Best regards to you.


23 posted on 06/27/2014 8:46:21 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: Rodamala

24 posted on 06/27/2014 9:07:54 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: gura

nice


25 posted on 06/27/2014 9:09:20 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Fungi

We seem to be on a death spiral,,,

that about sums it up.

have a nice day!


26 posted on 06/27/2014 9:25:28 PM PDT by Big Red Badger ( - William Diamonds Drum - can You Hear it G man?)
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To: Big Red Badger

How is it possible to “have a nice day” with what is going down?


27 posted on 06/27/2014 9:38:33 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: Fungi
The US cannot do anything right—from jets, to Iraq, to the southern border, to Obamacare, to lost e-mails, to wind power, to pipelines, to ......... you name it. What is going on? We seem to be on a death spiral.

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalms 9:17)

REVEALING STATISTICS (or, Present Costs of the War Against God)

28 posted on 06/27/2014 9:39:16 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: GeronL

We just need a bunch of those, more block 52 F-16s, and build a new A-10 type CAS plane.


29 posted on 06/27/2014 9:44:23 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: lbryce

Here's a February 21, 2013 article with publicly announced F-35 groundings up to that date.

F-35 Grounded After New F-135 Engine Problems

30 posted on 06/27/2014 9:56:21 PM PDT by Daaave ("Fiery the angels rose,")
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To: lbryce
"The original idea to replace different combat aircraft with a single design has resulted in the most expensive defense program in the history of mankind, with the price tag ballooning from $220 billion to about $400 billion."

I thought the lesson learned from the F-111 program was not to do that.
31 posted on 06/27/2014 9:59:11 PM PDT by clearcarbon
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To: 867V309
Good news! Only one percent of the fleet has been lost without ever engaging the enemy.

Yep, our very efficient domestic enemies have succeeded at countering and neutralizing one of our newest and most technologically advanced weapons before it's even been faced in battle.

In the meantime, Putin flexes muscle by firing six new air-launched cruise missiles.

32 posted on 06/28/2014 6:28:09 AM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I do know of a project that went into a Critical Design Review (CDR) to finalize and approve the design, and one of the required inputs for the CDR was a set of "As-Built" drawings.

Sounds like the National Health Care Plan (or ACA)

33 posted on 06/28/2014 8:02:31 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Citizen Zed

“Are they using that biodiesel fuel?”

Recycled cooking oil. Now we have self-frying aircraft.


34 posted on 06/28/2014 8:08:45 AM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: lbryce

The grounding is no threat to the national security due to the fact F-35 has still NO initial operation capability (IOC). In other words a test aircraft is grounded.


35 posted on 06/29/2014 2:31:39 PM PDT by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
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To: MHalblaub

Well, that certainly changes the perspective, ramifications of the article. Thanks very much for the enlightenment.


36 posted on 06/29/2014 2:46:52 PM PDT by lbryce (Barack Obama:Misbegotten Bastard OffSpring of Satan and Medusa.)
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