Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashes; pilots unharmed

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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Updated Sunday, Jul 7 at 11:00 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — 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.

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