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Israeli F-16 fighter jets damaged in 'biblical flooding' will take months to repair Open in fullscreen

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Israeli F-16 fighter jets damaged in 'biblical flooding' will take months to repair

Several F-16 fighter jets were damaged in the storm [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 January, 2020

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Israeli fighter jets damaged following vicious storm will take months to return to service despite insistence from military that it will only take a few days.
A few advanced fighter jets damaged by severe flooding in Israel will be out of service for months, not days as previously estimated by the military who acknowledged their estimates were incorrect.

A senior air force officer told press that five of the damaged F-16 jets are operable in a few days, after what social media users described as "biblical flooding".

However three of the aircraft, worth millions of shekels, require "two to three months" of extensive repair work before they can be restored to functionality.

The official told local media outlets that the "hundreds of millions" of shekels of damage reported was "far from" the true close of damages, though he did not disclose further information about the cost.

The officer echoed earlier criticism from another military personnel at the time, who said the air force had made a mistake in not taking the planes from the two underground hangers, which were flooded with water earlier this year in heavy rainstorms.

"We won't take any risks," the officer said.

According to the official, the rain water may have damaged the electronics inside the three aircrafts, forcing them to be grounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is gearing up for a difficult election [Getty]

Rainstorms had raged across Israel and caused millions in damages to planes, as well as hangers, workshops and military equipment.

The Israeli Air Force at the time attempted to prevent information leaking out, they insisted the repairs would take just a few days.

The military had lifted the censorship and allowed local media outlets to report on the damages after images of the jets made their way online.

Initially, the air force said eight fighter jets would return to service in a week.

"A number of plans were damaged," the military said, before saying "they will be repaired and will return to flight in the coming days".

The air force went on to say the base was operational, and the squadron whose planes were damaged have returned to duty.

A senior Israeli air force official said at the time that eight of Israel's most advanced fighter jets were "severely damaged", before slamming the army for its slow response.

They argued that it could have been prevented if they had prepared for stormy weather in advance, Haaretz revealed.

Earlier this month two people died in Tel Aviv after being trapped in a flooded elevator. Another man, called Moti Ben Shabbat was killed in the north after trying to rescue a mother and child trapped in their car.

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