British F-35 fighter jet crashes while flying on aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

The minister said the pilot ejected and was safely returned to the ship, and an investigation into the incident, which occurred during routine flight operations, has begun.

The UK is operating the F-35B, a single-engine vertical landing, short take-off variant of the US-developed fighter jet that costs about $115 million to build each.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement: “The ability to operate from the sea with the most advanced fighter aircraft ever created is a pivotal moment in our history, bringing the reassure allies and demonstrate the UK’s formidable air power against our adversaries,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement. at that time.

British F-35s first took off in 2019, carrying out strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from a Royal Air Force base on the island of Cyprus.

With the planned purchase of 138 F-35s, the UK will be the third largest operator of the Lockheed-Martin-made jet, after the US and Japan.

Both the US and Japan lost their F-35s to accidents.

In September 2018, A US Marine F-35B crashed in South Carolina, the first crash of an F-35.
In April 2019, a Japanese F-35A crashed into the Pacific Ocean Ocean off northern Japan, killing its pilot. Later Japanese Ministry of Defense assumed that the crash was caused by disorientation in space, which meant that the pilot couldn’t fully perceive his surroundings, and the stealthy fighter jet flew straight into the ocean on a night training mission.
In May 2020, A US Air Force F-35A crashed in Florida during routine training, but the pilot landed safely.
The crash in England came on the last leg of the journey for Queen Elizabeth, leading what UK calls Carrier Strike Group 21, that has seen Japan and South Korea engage in exercises with allies and partners as the Royal Navy strives to bolster its global presence.
Image of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the South China Sea

When the strike group left the UK in the spring, the British Ministry of Defense described it as the largest concentrated air and maritime force to leave British shores in a generation.

US and Dutch warships were part of the strike group, and 10 US Marines F-35s operated off Queen Elizabeth alongside eight British stealth jets.

When one version of the carrier strike group put together to sea during exercises off Scotland last fall, the British Ministry of Defense said it was carrying “the largest concentration of combat aircraft to operate. at sea from an aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy since HMS Hermes in 1983.”

It also says it is “the largest group of sea-based fifth-generation fighters anywhere in the world.” The fifth generation fighter is the most advanced fighter in the air.

There was no immediate information on whether Britain would attempt to recover the wreckage of the F-35 from the Mediterranean.

When a Japanese F-35 crashed in 2019, there was much speculation that the wreckage could be the target of potential adversaries like Russia and China, who could have access to cutting-edge technology. their. But both the US and Japan reject that idea.


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