The United States has produced the best Fighter Jets in the world. This dominance has continued right from the time the F-86 Sabre Jet appeared in the Korean war (1950-53). The latest American plane to grace the sky is the stealth fighter F-35. This plane is manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation and arguably the best fighter plane in the world. The only aircraft with similar capability is the Russian MIG-35.

The F-35 incorporates stealth technology with ECM and is a representative of the American lead in the world of military aviation. The plane has however been dogged by induction problems and cost overruns.

Many accidents have been reported, and even the US president has commented on its cost.

The plane has been inducted into the Air Force, and a few of them have been given to close allies like Israel and the UK. The planes had to be grounded at the American Air Force base in Arizona. This is unprecedented as such a mass scale grounding has not occurred before. In this case, an entire squadron is grounded. The reason is that pilots flying the super jet reported an irregular supply of oxygen. CNN International reports this.

Lack of Oxygen in cockpit

Pilots face forces of 4g and 5g in flight, and lack of oxygen can lead to hypoxia and a crash. A total of 5 pilots reported this OHR(Operational Hazard Report).

This has been confirmed by air force spokesperson Captain Mark Graff. The entire fleet has been grounded to rectify the problem.

The problem is being looked into by engineers from the Lockheed company and hopefully, the planes will be in action by Monday. The F-35 planes belonged to the 56th fighter wing at the Luke Air Force Base.

The air force has planned to demonstrate the capabilities of the plane at the Paris air show which is scheduled to be held at the end of the month. The problem is serious and merits attention

Problem being rectified

The pilots encountered the problem during training flights. The Pentagon has said that it will carry out a complete check and the elite fighter will remain AOG (aircraft on ground), till the defects are rectified.

An aircrew is a precious commodity and no chances can be taken with flight safety. It was pointed out that the plane's backup system worked and oxygen supply was restored, allowing the pilots to land back without mishap.

Last word

The plane has taken over 2 decades to develop and is the costliest plane in the US inventory. The Lockheed company has manufactured these fighters and many are slated to be supplied to America's allies. Till date 220 of these fighters have been manufactured. ln addition the pilots have collectively logged over 95000 flying hours.

The plane is the pride of the US Air Force, but its induction is raising eyebrows.