RAF surveillance aircraft being used in the fight against so-called Islamic State have been grounded following the discovery of an electrical fault.
The fleet of six Sentry E-3D, including two assigned to help the air campaign in Syria and Iraq, could be out of action for several weeks, the RAF said. The fault was discovered during routine technical inspections, it added.
It is the second time in four years the planes, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, have been grounded.
BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said the two Sentry aircraft had been providing airborne co-ordination as part of the operation against IS, and were helping to prevent other coalition aircraft coming into conflict with each other.
That work is currently being carried out by coalition allies while the fault in the RAF fleet is rectified, he added.
An RAF spokesman said: "As a result of routine technical inspections on RAF E-3D Sentry aircraft, an issue has been identified relating to the integrity of some electrical wiring and cabin conditioning systems.
"Safety remains our paramount concern, therefore, the UK Sentry fleet will only fly again once the ongoing rectification work is complete." (end of excerpt)
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