F-35 fleet reportedly to be retrofitted for engine vibration issue

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​​The entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets will be retrofitted within 90 days to address an engine vibration issue, US media outlets reported, citing the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO).

 The office issued a directive last week, detailing retrofit procedures for the aircraft globally.

   “While only a small number of aircraft were impacted by the harmonic resonance, the plan is to retrofit the entire fleet,” it said in a statement.

   F-35 deliveries were halted in December 2022 after a crash involving one of the fighter jets in Fort Worth, Texas, which led to the grounding of some of the aircraft.

   An investigation found a vibration issue in the engine which led to the mishap and the JPO said it was a “rare occurrence” and that engineers had developed a fix for it.

   The F-35, a fifth-generation stealth fighter delivered in three configurations, is the world’s most expensive weapons program, with an estimated lifetime cost of $1.6 trillion.

   US Congressman Adam Smith said in March 2021 that he thinks the F-35 is an overly expensive platform with disappointing capabilities.

   “I want to stop throwing money down that particular rathole,” Smith, then chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a virtual event with the Brookings Institution.

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