Israel grounds 11 F-35 stealth jets after U.S. crash

IDF says findings suggest Israeli jets must undergo a dedicated inspection to rule out possible malfunctions; adds IAF will analyze data and execute a protocol for their safe return to operational duty

Yoav Zitun|
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) reported on Sunday that following the crash of a U.S. F-35 Type B fighter jet in Texas earlier this month, and the recommendation of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO), 11 Israeli F-35 fighter jets will be grounded.
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  • According to the IDF, the findings and data collected from the crash, suggest the jets must undergo a dedicated inspection to rule out the possibility of a similar malfunction in the Israeli system.
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    טייס F35B נפלט מהמטוס בזמן הנחיתה
    טייס F35B נפלט מהמטוס בזמן הנחיתה
    The F-35 B crash in Texas
    "The IAF will analyze the findings from the incident and will draw conclusions and recommendations for the safe return of the aircraft to operational duty," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit added.
    The incident that prompted the Israeli review, at a north Texas military base on December 16. The pilot was forced to eject from an F-35 B fighter after a failed landing. Videos shared on social media showed the jet descending vertically onto the runway, briefly touching its wheels to the ground, before its nose dipped, causing the crash.
    The F-35B is capable of taking off and landing vertically, like a helicopter.
    Lockheed Martin said at the time that they were aware of the incident and that the pilot succeeded in ejecting safely.
    Earlier this year, the U.S. military grounded its entire fleet of F-35s after a malfunction detected in their ejection seat system.
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