Israel has 33 F-35I stealth jets delivered so far and they are assigned to the 116th Lions of the South Squadron and the 140th Golden Eagle Squadron.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) reported on Dec. 25, 2022 that following the crash of a US F-35B fighter jet in Texas earlier this month, and the recommendation of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO), 11 Israeli F-35I fighter jets will be grounded, Ynetnews reports.
According to the Israeli Defense Forces (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.
“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.
As already reported, the incident that prompted the Israeli review, took place at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2022. The pilot ejected safely. The plane had not yet been transferred to the US government.
Lockheed Martin manufactures the F-35B for the US Marine Corps (USMC). Lockheed Martin’s final assembly plant for the F-35 shares a runway with Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. As part of the test flight for the F-35Bs – which is known for its ability to have a short takeoff and vertical landing – pilots will take the aircraft up to test its ability to hover.
All planes ordered by IAF belong to the F-35A variant named F-35I Adir (Mighty) in Israel.
According to Alert 5, Israel has 33 F-35Is delivered so far and they are assigned to the 116th Lions of the South Squadron and the 140th Golden Eagle Squadron.
Photo credit: David Azagury U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Wikipedia