One of two F-35 fighter jets that were on their way to an air base in Nevada had to land in Lubbock, Texas. Reuters reported that there was a caution light that went on in the cockpit, a Pentagon spokesman and the plane's manufacturer Lockhead Martin Corp, said.
The plane was on its way to Nellis Air Force Base on Monday afternoon when the caution light came on. They were flying from Lockhead plant in Fort Worth, Texas and when the light came on the pilot was forced to land at the nearest airport which was in Lubbock. Reuters reported that the plane landed safely and the second plane landed as planned. The airplanes will be used for testing and evaluation of the new warplane, reported Reuters.
It is not clear what caused the light to come on.
"The incident is the latest in a string of negative news about the new single-seat, single-engine warplane that Lockheed is developing for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and eight international partners: Britain, Canada, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands," reported Reuters.
The F-35 Joint Strick Fighter is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program which costs $396 billion.
Reuters reported that the plane would continue to Nellis Air Force Base or return to the Lockhead plant depending on what is discovered about the mechanics.
Gary Loftus who is airport operations manager at the Lubbock airport said to Reuters that the plane was protected with a fence and parked on an airport ramp.
"Nobody can get to the airplane," he said to Reuters.
TIME magazine reported that the F-35 is the most expensive plane ever built.
"The F-35, designed as the U.S. military's lethal hunter for 21st century skies, has become the hunted, a poster child for Pentagon profligacy in a new era of tightening budgets," said TIME. "Instead of the stars and stripes of the U.S. Air Force emblazoned on its fuselage, it might as well have a bull's-eye. Its pilots' helmets are plagued with problems, it hasn't yet dropped or fired weapons, and the software it requires to go to war remains on the drawing board."
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