The Air Force F-35A Lightning II, assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing, experienced what the service said was a “ground emergency” at about 12:20 p.m. eastern Friday at the base, according to a statement.
Seven of the stealthy fifth-generation fighters have been at Mountain Home since Sept. 10 to use the base’s range for surface-to-air training, the statement said.
The Air Force said the cause of fire is under investigation.
Last week, the Air Force ordered a temporary stand-down of 13 out of 104 F-35s in the fleet “due to the discovery of peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks,” according to a statement at the time.
Two additional aircraft, belonging to Norway and currently stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, have also been affected.
These are on top of all of the software and other problems which would require F35s to run away from combat and have other planes come to its rescue, since it “will need support to locate and avoid modern threats, acquire targets, and engage formations of enemy fighter aircraft due to outstanding performance deficiencies and limited weapons carriage available (i.e., two bombs and two air-to-air missiles).”
The Block 3i aircraft lacks the ability to employ its cannon because the software needed for it is a Block 3F development and has yet to be completed.