The F-35 joint program office has announced that more than 80 percent of Lockheed Martin-built fighter jets operating in the U.S. and overseas are now approved to recommence flight following the completion of a fuel line inspection, USNI News reported Monday.
The F-35 JPO grounded the fighter aircraft on Thursday to facilitate the inspection of a fuel tube within the jet’s engine in response to an ongoing investigation into an F-35B crash that occurred on Sept. 28 near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.
JPO said in a statement that Pratt & Whitney has started to rapidly purchase additional parts to speed up repairs on the remaining aircraft.
The program office noted that it continues to collaborate with service branches to prioritize the replacement of fuel tubes using its current inventory of spares.
“The issue is not expected to impact F-35 deliveries and the program remains on track to meet its target of 91 aircraft for the year,” JPO said.