Safety Concerns Force Cancellation of F-35's Air Show Appearance

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Dion Nissenbaum

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Defense Department announced Tuesday that it won't send its advanced F-35 jet fighter to England for a long-awaited international debut because of lingering concerns about an engine fire that has dealt a blow to the Pentagon's most expensive military program.

While the military cleared the F-35 for limited flights early Tuesday, the Pentagon said that the restrictions made it impossible to fly the plane to England to take part in the Farnborough International Airshow currently under way. The entire F-35 fleet was grounded on July 3 because of an engine fire that raised concerns about safety of the next generation fighter jets.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said that the Pentagon still has confidence in the F-35, but that the restrictions still in place on the jets made it impossible to send one to England.

The cancellation also deals a blow to Lockheed Martin Corp., which makes the F-35, and United Technologies Corp. unit Pratt & Whitney, which makes the engines.

Write to Dion Nissenbaum at dion.nissenbaum@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


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