Israeli air force grounds F-35 aircraft following U.S. crash

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-12 05:05:28|Editor: yan
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has grounded its fleet of F-35I warplanes following the crash of a U.S. F-35B plane, the Israeli military announced Thursday.

After the crash of the U.S. jet two weeks ago, a technical investigation was held, and its findings were shared with the IAF by the U.S. Joint Program Office, the Israeli military said in a statement.

The findings indicated that the cause of the accident was a technical malfunction in the engine's fuel pipe, it said.

IAF Commander Amikam Norkin decided to take additional precautions and conduct tests on all F-35I aircraft, although the model in the accident was not used by the IAF and no malfunctions have been found in the IAF aircraft.

The F-35I model differs from other F-35 models by having Israeli-developed weapons and avionics systems.

According to the Israeli military, the testing will take several days and upon completion the planes will return to full operation.

But in the meantime, if the F-35I aircraft are required for operational action, they are ready, the Israeli military said.

A F-35B crashed during training on Sept. 28 in the U.S. state of South Carolina, in the first crash of the most expensive fighter plane in history.

The Pentagon announced Thursday to ground all F-35s for a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the plane's engine.