‘Unusual finding’: IDF grounds US-made Apache helicopter fleet

Commander of Israeli Air Force orders US-made attack helicopters grounded, following “unusual technical finding” during maintenance check.


The commander of the Israel Air Force (IAF) Major General Tomer Bar grounded Israel’s fleet of “Sheraf” (Apache) helicopters after what was described as an “unusual technical finding” was made during a routine maintenance check. The helicopters will be grounded until an inspection of all them is completed.

The IAF said that this is a precaution to rule out the possibility of there being a similar problem in one of its other Apache helicopters.

The IAF did not reveal the nature of the problem. It ordinarily does not do so for security reasons.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American-made twin-turboshaft attack helicopter.

Earlier this year, an Israel Air Force Apache helicopter was forced down due to a technical malfunction.

The incident occurred during the IAF’s Independence Day flyover, when an AH-64 suffered a malfunction, forcing it to land at a kibbutz in central Israel.

The IDF denied the incident constituted an emergency landing.

Six years ago, Israel’s entire Apache fleet was grounded for two months, after an AH-64 crashed at a base in southern Israel, killing the pilot.

Two weeks ago, the IDF grounded its fleet of Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, designated “Yasur” in Israel, following a “technical malfunction” during a training flight.

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The Yasur helicopters were returned to service after five days, with the IDF releasing a statement assuring that the fleet had undergone “comprehensive examination.”