The South Korean Air Force grounded its entire fleet of F-35A stealth fighters after a heart-stopping incident on Tuesday.
A South Korean F-35A fighter jet made an emergency landing during a training flight Tuesday due to a “major systems malfunction”, with its pilot emerging unscathed, according to military officials.
The F-35 made a “belly landing” on a runway at an airbase in Seosan, 151 kilometers south of Seoul, at around 12:51 p.m. after the issues caused the landing gear to become momentarily inoperable, the officials said.
South Korea’s Air Force and the U.S. military plan to initiate a joint investigation into what went wrong with the fighter manufactured by the U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin.
The Air Force will suspend all flights by its F-35A fighters pending the probe, the officials said.
It has so far received more than 30 F-35A jets from the United States under a plan to deploy a total of 40.