The US military has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets in the wake of a crash in South Carolina in September.
The Pentagon has announced it is investigating a potential problem with the fuel tubes on aircraft across the fleet - a move sparked by the probe into the first ever crash for the advanced fighter last month.
“The U.S. Services and international partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft,” the Pentagon announced in a statement.
“If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced. If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status. Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours.”
The F-35 fighter is the largest weapons programme of its type in the world, and was first used by Israel earlier this year t carry out a number of air strikes.
The jet has been sold to countries around the world, including the UK and Japan.