The US Marine Corps has decided to "temporarily suspend" flight operations for 14 F-35B fighters due to software issues.
The jets are from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 based at Air Station Yuma in Arizona. Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, decided to suspend flight operations after "anomalies" were discovered in a recent Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) software upgrade, the US Marine Corps said.
"There is nothing wrong with the performance or safety of the aircraft itself, but it is imperative that we ensure the ground-based ALIS system is working properly before flight operations continue," Maj. Kurt Stahl, a spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said in a statement Thursday.
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and frequent critic of the F-35's development challenges, said he was "concerned" about the suspension.
"I was concerned to learn that the Marine Corps has suspended F-35B operations at MCAS Yuma due to problems with the aircraft's Autonomic Logistics Information System.” McCain said.
I am in close communication with the Marine Corps and Joint Program Office as they work to identify the root cause of these issues and resolve them as quickly as possible," he added.
The suspension follows a week after the US Air Force's 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona similarly suspended all flights of its 55 F-35As. The F-35A is the Air Force's variant of the stealth fighter.