Two Israeli Air Force servicemen are feared dead after their F-16 fighter jet crashed in the south part of the occupied lands on a routine training flight.
Reports say the US-made F-16I — Israel’s newest and most advanced fighter jet — crashed late on Wednesday in the area of the Ramon Crater but the military censor barred publication of the news until the families of the crew had been notified.
The Israeli military “launched extensive searches near the crash site in hope of finding survivors but several hours after the crash it appeared that the pilot and navigator did not succeed in ejecting from the plane,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli Air Force also started an investigation into the accident.
The force also temporarily grounded the F-16I fleet until investigators find the cause of the crash.
Israel has purchased 102 F-16I fighter jets from the US to renovate its fleet.
In 2006, one of the jets crashed during a landing in Israeli war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement due to a malfunction.
Last September, another F-16I had to make an emergency landing after experiencing engine failure.