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Pentagon Grounds the Fort Worth-Assembled F-35 Fighter Jet

Photo: The United States Navy

The Pentagon suspended flights of the F-35 fighter jet today, after a routine inspection of a test plane found a crack on a turbine blade. The fighters are built by Lockhead Martin and assembled in Fort Worth.

The news comes on the heels of a BusinessWeek story published today that questions the entire $400 billion F-35 project, one beset by cost overruns. The most expensive weapons system in U.S. history has run 70 percent over-budget, the magazine reported. With a possible sequester around the corner, and defense spending on the table, lawmakers have looked long and hard at the project but are hesitant to make cuts. The F-35 project alone supports 41,000 jobs in Texas, the company reports.

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