AIRSHOW-US says "not giving up" on bringing F-35s to UK air show

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:12am EDT

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. and UK militaries are "not giving up" on bringing the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Britain for a high-profile air show this week, the Air Force general who heads the program told reporters on Monday.

U.S. Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall said the United States and other countries involved in the multinational F-35 program remained committed to the program despite the June 23 failure of the jet's Pratt & Whitney engine that has grounded the entire F-35 fleet.

Kendall said he remained hopeful the grounding order could be lifted in time to bring jets to the Farnborough air show that began Monday and runs through Sunday, but said no decision had been made at this point.

He said there was growing evidence that the failure of the engine - triggered by excessive rubbing in the third stage of Pratt's F135 engine - was not a systemic, design flaw affecting the whole fleet. But he said officials were still trying to understand why the engine broke up. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter)

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