One week ago, Eurofighter and Tornado fighter aircraft flights were restricted in Germany (there was suspicion of a malfunctioning of the ejection seat), and now the United States faces the same problem. It was discovered in April but it took over three months to land all F-35s that were available to the Air Force and Navy, as well as the Marine Corps.
To fully address the problem, it was necessary to land all fighters (the US has 349 F-35 Lightning IIs). Although initially it was thought that it was an isolated incident, further investigation revealed that the problem could have been much larger. This was due to violations in the assembly of chairs on the production line.
What is the problem exactly? Evidently, it’s in a squib. F-35 squib cartridges didn’t contain magnesium powder, which is used for ignition and detonation. Without this, the F-35 ejection system would simply not work. The military tried 2,700 F-35 ejection seats rounds and found three failures.
It was interesting that news about F-35 ejection seat problems came almost simultaneously with news about excessive demand for these aircraft. Germany will buy 35 aircraft, while the Pentagon will purchase 375 units. The Czech Republic is interested in ordering 24 more.