In the US, the F-35 fleet is temporarily grounded, but in the Netherlands it is not needed, the Royal Netherlands Air Force tells De Telegraaf.
The Netherlands currently has 27 new F-35s from US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin. In the US, there might be something wrong with the exploding bullets that shoot out of the seat from the cockpit in an emergency.
“The U.S. chose to inspect the entire fleet at once and therefore ground all aircraft,” the spokesman said. “In close consultation with Lockheed Martin, we have decided to introduce our regular 90-day inspection. Let’s check the software if we get the same error message. The Ministry of Defense said it was safe to continue flying.
VVD MP Peter Walstar has asked the Ministry of Defense what the US situation is for Dutch aircraft. The Cabinet will soon send a letter regarding this. This is not the first time something has gone wrong with the F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). For example, the Air Force One next to the F-16 creates a lot of noise nuisance around Volkel.
The fighter plane was unable to fly for a long time during a thunderstorm. Nevertheless, F-35 pilots are very positive about the aircraft. “This is a very new aircraft and early teething problems are common,” an Air Force spokesman said.
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