Israel's Air Force Grounds F-35 Jets After Fault Detected

Israel's air force chief made the call after a defect in the seat ejector was discovered in the same fighter jets in the U.S.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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F-35.
An F-35 jet.Credit: AFP
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

The head of Israel's Air Force, Commander Maj.-Gen. Tomer Bar, decided to ground the country's F-35 fleet on Saturday, following the detection of malfunctions with the seat ejectors of the fighter jets.

Bar made the call after the defect was discovered in the same fighter jets in the U.S., though the air force stressed that they will allow the use of the aircraft for operational missions, provided they receive approval from the top brass.

The army added that according to the manufacturer's instructions, inspections are required to ensure the seat ejectors work properly – a process that "will be carried out by technical teams, and is expected to be completed in the coming days."

The U.S. began supplying the F-35 fighter jets to Israel in 2016, which are manufactured by Lockheed Martin with support from the U.S., U.K., Italy, and other countries.

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