British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 Lightning II fighter jet may miss the Royal International Air Tattoo air show this week given a fleet-wide grounding ordered after an engine failure last month.
But Hammond told a conference in London on Wednesday that he was “still optimistic” that the new warplane would be cleared to fly in time to make a delayed international debut at the world’s biggest air show in Farnborough, outside London, next week.
Military and industry officials are pressing hard to ensure that the jets are able to make their international debut at the Farnborough show. Missing both shows would be a huge embarrassment and could undermine U.S. efforts to drum up additional sales of the new fighter.
For the complete story by Andrea Shalal of Reuters, click here.
Photo by UK Ministry of Defense