JERUSALEM – The Israeli military says an F-16 fighter jet has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after its two crew members safely ejected from the aircraft.
The F-16 is the backbone of the Israeli air force. The two-seater F-16I is its latest and most advanced version. The military said the plane crashed during a routine flight Sunday.
The air force halted all training flights and launched an investigation into the cause of the accident.
The F-16I, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, entered service in Israel nine years ago. The aircraft is able to carry air-to-air heat-seeking missiles manufactured by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. as well as U.S.-made radar-guided missiles.
The aircraft carries enlarged fuel tanks, increasing its range significantly.
An Israeli F-16I crashed in 2010, killing the two pilots.