LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will not make its international debut at the Farnborough air show on Monday, though there is still a chance it will appear later in the week, the event’s organisers said on Sunday.
The United States’ newest combat jet had already been pulled out of a British military show last week, after the entire fleet was grounded following a massive engine failure on a U.S. Air Force F-35 jet last month.
Failure to appear at Farnborough, the world’s biggest aerospace industry event of the year, could weaken the plane’s export prospects just as two initial partners in the programme - Canada and Denmark - are weighing fresh orders.
“The aircraft is still awaiting US DoD (Department of Defense) clearance but we are hopeful that it will fly at the airshow by the end of the week,” Farnborough organisers said in a statement.
U.S. officials told Reuters on Saturday they were still hopeful the F-35 could attend the July 14-20 show, while signalling it would not be there for the start. (Reporting by Mark Potter. Editing by Jane Merriman)