Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Request a Demo


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Lockheed F-35 Fire Probe Finds No Sign of Systemic Flaws

A Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter. Source: Lockheed Martin Corp. via Bloomberg
A Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter. Source: Lockheed Martin Corp. via Bloomberg

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. defense officials see no broad safety issues with Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter after an engine fire forced the grounding of the fleet, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief said.

“From the evidence we have so far we don’t see at this point what I would call systemic difficulties,” U.S. Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall said today in a briefing in London ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow.

The plane won’t resume flying until it’s deemed to be airworthy, Kendall said. He said the June 23 blaze on a U.S. Air Force F-35 was caused by “rubbing between some blades of the engine and the cowl around them.”

The grounding means the F-35 will miss tomorrow’s start of the aviation industry’s biggest expo, a setback for Lockheed as the U.S. pushes to expand export sales of a model built for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Air-show organizers said today the F-35 may appear later this week.

“Everyone involved in the project is working towards a positive result for attendance at the airshow,” according to a statement.

The F-35 has been plagued by a costly redesign, bulkhead cracks, excessive weight and delays in software. Building all 2,443 planes is projected to cost $398.6 billion, a 71 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars since the contract with Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed was signed in 2001.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at; Benedikt Kammel at Benedikt Kammel

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.