Pentagon Knew of F-35B Weapons Bay Fire Problem

Pentagon Knew of F-35B Weapons Bay Fire Problem
AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News, Nick Tomecek

A Marine Corps F-35B caught fire during a late October flight because of a weapons bay defect that military officials knew about and were already working to fix.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program executive officer, told reporters Monday at the program's offices in Arlington, Virginia, that the Oct. 27 mishap occurred when a bracket that held electrical wires in the weapons bay came loose, allowing the wires to chafe and come into contact with hydraulic lines, causing the fire.

Military.com broke the news about the fire, which caused at least $2 million in damage, according to Naval Safety Center estimates. An F-35B from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, a 20-plane fleet replacement squadron for the Marine Corps based in Beaufort, South Carolina, was involved in the mishap.

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