Photo Credit: Courtesy of IAF Spokesperson
The test F-35I at IAF Tel Nof Base.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has declared its F-35I Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) array operational again after the fighter planes underwent extensive checks to eliminate the possibility of a malfunction in the plane’s ejector seat, a potential danger to the pilots.

On Sunday, the personnel of the Air Force’s maintenance system completed the final inspections on the last planes for a defect in the pilot’s seats in the F-35 aircraft following information received from the US regarding an inspection for a defect in the ejection mechanism in the pilot’s seats in the F35 aircraft.


According to the manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure the integrity of the ejector seats, an inspection is required to ensure the veracity of this component.

IAF Commander Major General Tomer Bar ordered a general inspection of the “Adir” aircraft before their next flight.

After the IAF completed the tests and cleared all the aircraft of defects, the F-35s carried out offensive missions in Operation Breaking Dawn against the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip over the weekend.

All the planes returned to regular operations, the IAF said.

The first IAF Adir F-35 JSF squadron was declared operational by the IAF in December 2017. The Israeli F-35 was the first outside of the US to be declared operational, preceded only by the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force.

The fifth-generation fighter jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is considered one of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. Israel has acquired a total of 50 F-35s which are to be supplied by December 2024.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.