By Emanuel Fabian
The Israeli Air Force on Wednesday grounded its fleet of Apache helicopters after a technical issue was found during routine maintenance, the military said. The fleet, known in Israel as Seraph, will remain grounded until all of the choppers can be checked for the issue and cleared to return to operational usage, ruled IAF chief Tomer Bar.
The force did not elaborate on the issue.
Earlier this year during the Independence Day flyby, an IDF Apache helicopter pulled out and landed in a kibbutz in central Israel due to a technical fault. The military stressed that the incident was not an emergency landing. In 2017, an Apache attack helicopter on a training mission crashed on a base in southern Israel, killing the pilot and critically injuring a crew member.
The entire fleet was grounded for two months before it was declared once again operational by the military.
Last month, the air force also grounded its entire fleet of Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion — known in Israel as the Yasur — helicopters after a “technical malfunction” arose during a training flight earlier this week, the military said.
The aircraft — a Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion model, known in Israel as a Yasur — made a safe landing at an air base in central Israel following the malfunction. There were no injuries or damage during the incident.