As this publication reported at the end of July, the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps grounded their fleets of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters after an unnamed issue was discovered with the cartridge actuated devices (CAD) in the Martin-Baker ejection seats. The CADs “initiate a series of automatic functions when aircrew pull the ejection handle to safely egress the aircraft and deploy the aircrews’ parachute,” according to the Navy, meaning pilots we’re at risk of not being able to successfully eject.
However, Alexi Worley, Deputy Chief of Operations at Air Combat Command Public Affairs told press today that nearly 350 USAF F-35s have been returned to full service after inspections. He did not elaborate on the issue or the replication, however, this news is likely to mean the USN and USMC aircraft will also follow suit, ending a tumultuous time for U.S. aviation where readiness seemed to take a sharp downturn.
This issue was apparently brought to light when the Eurofighter, which share similar ejection seats, came under scrutiny for erosion of their CADs.