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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 103-13
February 22, 2013

F-35 Cautionary Suspension of Flight Operations: F135 Engine Crack

            A routine engine inspection revealed a crack on an engine blade of the F135 engine installed in F-35A aircraft AF-2 operating at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.  Engineering teams are shipping the engine's turbine module and its associated hardware to Pratt & Whitney's Engine Facility in Middletown, Conn., to conduct more thorough evaluation and root cause analysis.

             As a precautionary measure, all F-35 flight operations have been suspended until the investigation is complete.  It is too early to know the fleet-wide impact of the recent finding.  The F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible.