Two US Air Force F-16 fighter jets declared an emergency as they landed at the Miyako Shimojishima airfield in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday owing to an engine malfunction. The engine twitched trouble while the fighter jet was still 60 kilometres south of Japan's Miyako island, a Japanese media outlet said.
The report stated that the US military has been doing repairs on one of the fighters. There have been no casualties or delays in flights for civilians.
In a similar incident in December last year, B-2 Spirit, a heavy bomber experienced an "in-flight malfunction" during "operations." The aircraft made an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and suffered damages upon landing.
The Whiteman Air Force base in a statement said, "The B-2 did not have any munitions on board and there were no personnel injuries. A fire associated with the aircraft was extinguished by the base fire department after landing."
Last month, the Pentagon directed grounding of all F-35s globally to address an engine fault which resulted in the grounding of some planes and the suspension of fresh deliveries. The order covered all of the almost 900 F-35s delivered by defence contractor Lockheed Martin across the world, including those grounded since a December 15 accident at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas.
An examination determined that engine vibration caused the incident, in which a hovering F-35 landing vertically jumped upward before lurching forward and sliding around on its nose and right wing.
Lockheed replied by cancelling additional F-35 acceptance flights. Later in December, the Pentagon and Pratt & Whitney, the manufacturer of the F-35's propulsion system, halted engine delivery.