The F-35 stealth fighter jet reportedly still has a problem flying in thunder and lightning storms, despite Lockheed having promised to implement a modification to repair the problem more than a year ago.
On Saturday (March 4) the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was forced to ground two F-35A Lightning II fighter jets at the Avalon Air Show due to inclement weather. The jets were prevented from flying on the last day of the show, and their return flight to the United States was delayed by 24 hours, according to a report by Defense Aerospace.com .
In a statement posted on its website, the RAAF said, “It is well documented that the F-35A aircraft requires modifications for lightning protection and these modifications have not yet been completed on the two visiting Australian aircraft.”
Although the U.S. House Armed Services Committee was told at an April 16, 2015 hearing that a problem with the aircraft flying in lightning was “basically behind us,” the RAAF said bluntly in its statement, “the aircraft will not fly in conditions where lightning is present” as safety is the priority of the air force.
The first two F-35 Adir Stealth Fighter Jets arrived in Israel last December (2016) to a huge welcoming ceremony at the Nevatim Air Base in the Negev.
A total of 50 of the F-35 fighter jets have been ordered by Israel, the first nation to accept the aircraft.