(Source: KSWT-Yuma) An F-35 after it was delivered at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Pilots of the U.S. military's new F-35 fighter jets are being ordered not to fly in a storm because the new jets might explode.
Engineers have identified a problem with the fuel tank that could blow up if it was struck by lightning, according to a Department of Defense report.
For now, pilots are being told to stay at least 25 miles away from any thunderstorm.
The restriction will be lifted once an oxygen gauge in the tank is re-designed and installed.
Luke Air Force Base is scheduled to be a training base for the F-35.
It was chosen in August as the site for the F35A Lightning II pilot training center and is expected to have as many as 72 of the aircraft.
Pilots at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma were expected to begin flying the new F-35s this week. Three have already been delivered to the Yuma base and is scheduled to have two squadrons of 16 planes each by January 2014.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
Authorities now say 14 people - including a 15-year-old - have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.More >
A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck or rattled 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.More >