The F-35 Joint Program Office temporarily has halted flight operations for a number of F-35s with higher flight hours after finding two new parts that will require inspection on older models of the jets.
A spokesman for the F-35 JPO, who confirmed the issue exclusively to Defense News and Marine Corps Times, declined to detail exactly how many jets may possibly be grounded as a result of the inspections. However, one source close to the program said that only a couple dozen F-35Bs meet the criteria where an operational pause would be necessary.
“The joint government and industry technical team has completed their assessment of the fuel supply tubes within the Pratt & Whitney engine on F-35 aircraft,” the F-35 Joint Program Office announced in a statement. “In addition to the previously identified failed tube, the analysis has identified two additional fuel supply tubes that require inspection.”