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The Air Force cleared the most F-35 fighter jets to return to flight after a two-week grounding

After two weeks, the Air Force announced that any defective ejector-seat components had been found and most F-35 fighters from the military have been cleared to fly again.



. (Bloomberg) After being grounded for two weeks to check for faulty ejector-seat components, the Air Force gave the go-ahead for 349 of its F-35 fighter jets to return to service.

Air Combat Command spokeswoman Alexi Worley said in a statement to Bloomberg News on Monday that technicians swapped out four of the F-35s’ 706 cartridges. Later inspection “determined compliant” for those four cartridges, she said. Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd. manufactures the explosive cartridges that release the pilot and their seat in the event of an emergency.

With an expected fleet of over 3,300 jets for the US and partner nations, the Air Force is the largest customer for the world’s largest weapons program. Lockheed Martin Corp. has delivered over 800 F-35s around the world, and international orders continue to rise with Finland, Switzerland, Germany, and Greece being the most recent overseas customers.

In April, a “anomaly” was found in an F-35 cartridge at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, according to an email statement from Martin-head Baker’s of business development, Steve Roberts. According to Roberts, the problem was eventually isolated to a “gap in the manufacturing process” that was then modified.

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