US F-35 jet to miss date at Farnborough

July 14, 2014 - 1:55:34 am

LONDON: The new US-built F-35 stealth fighter jet will not appear as planned at Britain’s Farnborough air show today but may still take part at the end of the week, organisers said.

The entire fleet of F-35s, set to become the backbone of much of the air defences of several Western countries, was grounded in the United States last week because of an engine fire.

“Unfortunately the F-35B Lightning II will not be displaying at the Farnborough International Airshow today,” the organisers said in a statement. “The aircraft is still awaiting US Department of Defence clearance but we are hopeful that it will fly at the airshow by the end of the week.”

The organisers said while they were hoping for a “positive result” for an appearance later in the week, “we fully support the stance to never compromise the safety of either pilots or show participants”.

The Lockheed Martin-manufactured F-35’s first appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Britain last week was cancelled in a setback for the costly programme. AFP