The Straits Times
Published on Feb 25, 2013

F-35 flights should resume soon: Pentagon official


SYDNEY (AFP) - The Pentagon's director of the F-35 programme said on Monday the next-generation fighter jet could be back in the air within a fortnight after an engine crack forced the grounding of test flights.

Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, in Australia for talks on the jet, also dismissed any talk of foreign customers backing out of the costly F-35 or Joint Strike Fighter project because of its delays.

If the crack's cause was as straightforward as a foreign object striking the turbine, or a basic manufacturing defect, "I could foresee the airplane back in the air in the next week or two", Lt Gen Bogdan told reporters in Melbourne.

"If it's more than that then we have to look at what the risk is to the fleet," he said.