De­liv­ery of F-35 jets not dis­rupted

The Sunday Guardian - - World -

MEL­BOURNE: The Aus­tralian De­fence Force on Satur­day said its de­liv­er­ies of F-35 fighter jets from the United States were still on track, de­spite the planes be­ing grounded af­ter one of the air­craft crashed in Septem­ber.

All US and in­ter­na­tional F-35 jets made by Lock­heed Martin Corp were grounded this week so that fuel tubes could be ex­am­ined in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the crash on Sept. 28 in South Carolina. The pause in op­er­a­tions of the war­planes would not “af­fect the de­liv­ery of air­craft to Aus­tralia”, the ADF said in a state­ment, ac­cord­ing to broad­caster ABC TV.

Aus­tralia has taken de­liv­ery of nine F-35 jet fighters and has com­mit­ted to buy 72, with all air­craft ex­pected to be fully op­er­a­tional by 2023. The nine planes re­main grounded at a train­ing base in Ari­zona. “Aus­tralian F-35 air­craft cur­rently based in the United States will re­turn to fly­ing op­er­a­tions once safety in­spec­tions are com­plete,” the ADF said.

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