WPAFB, Ohio (WDTN) - The Pentagon grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets Friday.
A Pentagon spokesperson says a cracked engine blade was found on a plane during a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The plane is an F-35A, the Air Force version of the new aircraft.
The Pentagon grounded the entire fleet as a precaution. Officials said it is too early to know the full impact of the problem.
We did some checking about the F-35 program. A spokesman at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base told 2 NEWS that the base does have a small joint program office that supports the F-35. No word yet on whether it will be affected. There are currently no F-35 fighters at WPAFB. WPAFB says the majority of the F-35 program is located at Pax River Naval Air Station in Maryland.
The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program. It costs nearly $400-billion.
The Navy and Marine Corps are buying other versions of the F-35, which is intended to replace aging fighters.
A total of 51 planes are grounded until more extensive evaluations are made about the cracking problem. None of the planes are combat-ready. They are all undergoing testing.