The Israeli air force suspended training flights with its Lockheed Martin F-16I "Sufa" strike aircraft on 10 November, following a fatal accident.

An F-16I crashed during a training mission in the Ramon crater in southern Israel, with the air force confirming the following day that its two crew members had been killed.

Pilots of other F-16Is in the area saw the aircraft hit the ground. Its pilot and weapon-systems operator did not transmit any distress signal before the crash. Rescue teams located the debris shortly after the accident.

Israeli air force commander Maj Gen Ido Nechustan has appointed a board of inquiry to investigate the cause of the crash.

 F-16I Israel - Israel Sun Rex Features
© Dudu Grunshpan/Israel Sun/Rex Features

The loss reduces Israel's F-16I fleet to 100 aircraft, according to Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. The air force acquired 102 of the type, with its only previous loss having occurred in 2006, when an aircraft's landing gear failed during take-off.

Source: Flight International