The Israel Air Force has grounded its small fleet of Adir F-35 stealth fighter jets in concert with the worldwide grounding of the entire American fleet of F-35A and F-35B stealth fighter jets by the Pentagon.
The grounding came in the wake of the crash last month in South Carolina of a Marine F-35B. Subsequent investigation into the crash found a technical failure in a fuel pipe in the engine.
“The commander of the IAF, Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin has decided to take precautions and inspect all Adir [F-35s]” according to a statement issued Thursday night by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office.
“The inspections will be held over the course of the coming days and at the end, the aircraft shall return to full operational activity. If an operational necessity arises, the F35 Adirs are ready and prepared,” the statement added.
Israel expected to receive a total of two squadrons — 50 aircraft — of the F-35 stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin by 2022.