Monday, October 24, 2016

Grounded Air Force F-35As Fly Again, Lockheed Martin | DoD Buzz

Grounded Air Force F-35As Fly Again, Lockheed Martin | DoD Buzz: Air Force F-35s grounded over an internal debris issue should be up and running again soon, with a few likely ready to fly before the end of this month.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office on Thursday said modifications to four of the aircraft began Oct. 7, “and the work takes about three weeks to complete.”

The service on Sept. 16 ordered a temporary stand-down of 13 out of 104 F-35s in the fleet “due to the discovery of peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks,” according to a statement at the time. Two additional aircraft, belonging to Norway and stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, were also affected.

“Rapid progress is being made in fixing 15 operational F-35A aircraft needing modifications to repair non-compliant Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant tubes,” Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office, said in an email.

“All 15 aircraft are expected to fly again by the end of the year,” he said. “At the same time, modification work is progressing on 42 production aircraft in assembly. Lockheed Martin expects to start delivering these aircraft in December. These first deliveries include jets from Israel and Japan, these nation’s first deliveries.”