Israel Grounds 11 F-35 Jets over U.S. Crash of Similar Aircraft

  • Bureau
  • 08:51 AM, December 27, 2022
  • 747
Israel Grounds 11 F-35 Jets over U.S. Crash of Similar Aircraft
F-35I combat aircraft @IAF

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has grounded 11 of its F-35 fighters, after a U.S. F-35B crashed during a test flight about two weeks ago.

On Dec. 15, Lockheed Martin was conducting tests on the ill-fated F-35B in Texas to evaluate its hovering capabilities. The pilot ejected safely and was unharmed.

Israel’s Air Force will check the grounded jets for a similar issue to the one that caused the U.S. crash, and as per the recommendations of the F-35 Joint Program Office.

“From the findings and the information given, it was found that these planes require a dedicated inspection in order to rule out the possibility of a repeated malfunction in the Israeli array,” the IDF was quoted as saying by local media outlets.

Israel’s F-35I is based on the F-35A, with a conventional take-off and landing system. The B-variant, used by the U.S. Marine Corps and other navies, allows for short take-off and vertical landing on aircraft carriers.

In July, the Israeli military had grounded its entire F-35 fleet for a week over an issue concerning ejector seats.

Israel has agreed to purchase at least 50 F-35s until 2024, and 36 aircraft have been delivered so far.

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