According to the article, some of the so-called ejection seat initiator cartridges may be defective. This is part of the ejection seats on the F-35. The first report of this came in mid-April. Ejector seat manufacturer Martin Baker, along with the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), began investigating the matter. The Netherlands is also part of the JPO. The Defense maintains 8 aircraft for education and training at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix.
After an initial risk analysis, it was determined that there was a very low chance that the ejection seats would malfunction. Despite this, the US government decided to inspect as many planes as possible before the next flight.
Martin Baker ejection seats from over 1,000 different aircraft worldwide have now been tested. No defective cartridges were detected. However, a small number of bullets were found that had been modified as a precaution. This happened to 1 of the 7 Dutch F-35s tested. Those bullets are now under further investigation. An eighth Dutch plane is under maintenance in the US and will be inspected later.
As a result of the findings, it was decided to further investigate the F-35 outside of the United States. Of the 20 devices in the Netherlands, 6 have now been verified. So far, no problems with the ejection seat have come to light. Remaining flights will be checked within 90 days.
So far, no abnormalities have been detected in the cartridges replaced as a precaution.
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