The Air Force’s most sophisticated combat fighter jet is grounded for the time being. The U.S. Air Force won’t fly almost all F-35s in the United States, after problems were found with explosive cartridges that propel the pilot ejection seat out of the aircraft. The Navy has found the problem in some of their jets, and has been able to replace the faulty parts.
The Air Force said last week it was ordering inspections of all the F-35’s ejection seats within the next 90 days and has enough of the cartridge inventory to replace any faulty ones it finds. On July 29, it grounded the planes that had not already been assessed.
Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks has has completed a two-year buildup of F-35s, with squadrons comprised of two operations squadrons of 54 permanently assigned, F-35A Lightning Aircraft.
Alaska has the distinction of being the state with the most concentrated combat-coded, fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Alaska is considered the premier training location in the United States and is home to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex’s more than 75,000 square miles of airspace.