By Mike Mount
The U.S. military on Friday grounded the F-35 fighter jet due to a crack in an engine component that was discovered during a routine inspection in California.
The Pentagon said in a statement that it was too early to assess the impact on the fleet of jets designed for use by the Navy, Air Force and Marines.
The nearly $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons system. It is currently being tested.
The program has been beset by cost overruns and various technical problems during development.
Currently, there 51 planes in the F-35 fleet.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been a magnet for problems for years, but the new warplane's developers are slowly making progress toward deployment.
During testing at a facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey, pilots flying the Navy's carrier variant successfully caught five arresting wires in eight attempts, according to Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the F-35 program office.
That's an improvement over the first tests when pilots couldn't hook the wire. But it is not good enough.