The US Air Force is assisting Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and the Israeli Air Force in determining the source of a type of formaldehyde found in IAF F-16 fighters, reports the Jerusalem Post. The problem erupted earlier this year when Israeli pilots noticed a strange smell in one fighter that later proved to be a type of formaldehyde that is known to cause cancer, prompting the IAF to ground the fighters. The US Air Force has not had a similar problem with its F-16s, according to Air Combat Command boss Gen. John Corley. The IAF is installing special filters that appear to work to eliminate the problem in some of the aircraft but not all.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.