UK grounds fighter jets over safety issues
Britain has halted “non-essential” flights of its Eurofighter Typhoon military aircraft, the Royal Air Force (RAF) announced Friday. The measure was described as a “temporary” safety precaution stemming from an issue with the planes’ ejector seats.
“We have been notified of a technical issue which may affect the safe operation of our ejector seats in Typhoon and [Red Arrows] aircraft. We have paused non-essential flying as a temporary safety precaution until the situation is better understood,”RAF said on Twitter.
Britain maintains a fleet of some 100 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which are the country’s primary multirole fighter jet. The ejection seat issue also affects the BAE Systems Hawk trainer aircraft used by the Red Arrows aerobatics team. The military has not elaborated on the exact nature of the problem, its severity or the potential duration of the “temporary” grounding of the fleet.
The announcement comes a day before the Bray Air Show 2022 was set to kick off. The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, were expected to take part in the seaside display, but their participation is now unlikely, local media reported, citing military sources.
The aerobatics team, which is based at RAF Scampton, re-tweeted the RAF message but provided no further statement on the ejection seat issue or their participation in the airshow.