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Netherlands lands all F-35 jets on engine wear concerns

Christian Fernsby |
The Netherlands Defense Ministry said on Thursday that all nine of its F-35 fighter jets were grounded because of concerns that grit blown up from the runway had potentially caused engine wear.

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Three jets at the Leeuwarden Air Base were found to have engine wear earlier than expected and the decision to ground flights is a precaution to prevent possible subsequent damage, it said in a statement.

"The grit would have come from an anti-slip layer of the runway system at Leeuwarden Air Base," said the ministry. “As far as is known, the Netherlands is the only F-35 flying country that has this wear and tear on F-35 engines.”

It said the F-35 has a heavier engine than an F-16 and blows up more grit while taxiing, underlining the form of wear has not been observed with the F-16.

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