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IAF returns four F-35 jets to service, after checking for ejector seat issue

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IAF commander Tomer Bar (right) meets with technicians at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, during an evaluation of F-35 ejector seats, July 31, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
IAF commander Tomer Bar (right) meets with technicians at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, during an evaluation of F-35 ejector seats, July 31, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says four of the Air Force’s fleet of 33 F-35 fighter jets have been returned to full service, after being examined for an ejector seat issue reported in the United States.

IAF commander Tomer Bar met with technicians today at the Nevatim Airbase, where the F-35i “Adir” fleet is housed, the military says.

No issues were found in the four aircraft, and the remaining ones will be checked in the coming days.

Bar “emphasized the importance of the tests, in order to restore the “Adir” fleet to full capacity as soon as possible, and expressed his appreciation and satisfaction to the technician teams,” the IDF says.

Yesterday, the IAF grounded the F-35 fleet for training flights. F-35 operational activity is expected to continue amid the evaluation. The IDF said such uses would be approved by Bar on a case-by-case basis.

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