WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon has grounded the F-35 fighter jet in order to inspect the fleet in the wake of a crash last month in South Carolina.
The decision temporarily halts combat operations by Marines, who began conducting airstrikes against Taliban targets in Afghanistan the day before the crash. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all have different versions of the stealthy fighter.
All three services have stopped flying the F-35 while fuel tubes in the aircraft are inspected and replaced if necessary. The F-35 program office said the inspections should be completed in one or two days.
Certain fuel tubes were identified as a potential problem. If the aircraft has those, they will be replaced. If the aircraft has good fuel tubes, it will be allowed to begin flying again.