By ANDRE FRANCISCO
The F-35 Lightning II fleet has been grounded after an Aug. 2 electric failure occurred during ground exercises at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The problem occurred in the Integrated Power Package (IPP) of the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant of the AF-4, according to the official F-35 website. The IPP is made by Honeywell, which also makes the onboard oxygen generation system that is potentially causing problems in the F-22 fleet, according to Air Combat Command.
No one was injured in the incident, but the fleet has been grounded until the cause of the problem can be determined.
Aviation Week reports that the fleet has also suspended all ground operations.
The F-35s have faced problems before, including a brief grounding in March, but most of the major problems have been with the F-35B variant for the Marines that is designed for short take-offs and vertical landings.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said about the F-35B “If we cannot fix this variant during this time frame and get it back on track in terms of performance, cost and schedule, then I believe it should be cancelled.”
Andre Francisco is a POGO communications associate.
Image: U.S. Air Force.