F-35 jets may miss Royal air show amid fire inquiry – Defence Secretary
F-35 fighter jets may miss the Royal International Air Tattoo air show this week because of a fleet-wide grounding ordered after an engine failure last month, the UK Defence Secretary has said.
Philip Hammond made the announcement after the US military grounded all 97 Lockheed Martin-made jets following a fire on an Air Force F-35A jet at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
The Pentagon said US and industry officials had not yet pinpointed the cause of the fire on June 23.
"Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered, and return to flight will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data," the Defense Department told Reuters news agency.
The incident already derailed plans for an F-35 jet to fly by the naming ceremony for Britain's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, last week.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RITA) kicks off July 11 followed by the Farnborough International Air Show starting on July 14th.