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Israel grounds Panthers following fatal accident

4th January 2022 - 10:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Israeli Air Force AS565 helicopter aboard a USN vessel. (Photo: USN/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Desmond Parks)

The Israeli Air Force fleet of AS565 helicopters is temporarily inactive.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has grounded its fleet of AS565 Panther multirole naval helicopters after one of the aircraft crashed on 3 January, killing the pilot and co-pilot.

The AS565 was on a training exercise when the accident occurred about 1h after take-off, according to the IDF.

All IAF AS565 flights are now suspended pending the result of an investigation.

Israel acquired five Panthers in 1996 and the helicopters are used jointly by the IAF and Israeli Navy for ISR, targeting and search and rescue missions.

They are scheduled to be replaced in 2023-2024 by eight ex-USN SH-60F Seahawks to operate with four new Israeli Navy Sa’ar-6 corvettes.

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