WASHINGTON, July 3 The U.S. military on Thursday
said it had grounded the entire fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp
F-35 fighter jets until completion of additional
inspections of the warplane's single engine built by Pratt &
Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
The Pentagon's F-35 program office, Air Force and Navy
issued directives on Thursday ordering the suspension of all
F-35 flights after a June 23 fire on an Air Force F-35A jet at a
Florida air base, according to statements by the Pentagon and
the F-35 program office.
The Pentagon said U.S. and industry officials had not been
able to pinpoint the cause of the fire, which occurred as a
pilot was preparing for takeoff. The pilot was not injured.
The Pentagon said preparations were continuing for F-35 jets
to participate in two UK air shows later this month, but a final
decision would be made early next week.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)