Breaking News
Translate

Crashed Japanese F-35 wreckage found in Pacific, pilot still missing

Kindly Share This Story:

Search and rescue teams found wreckage from a crashed Japanese F-35 stealth fighter in the Pacific Ocean close to northern Japan as efforts to find the missing pilot continues, authorities said on Wednesday.

“The aircraft, less than one-year-old, was the first F-35 to be assembled in Japan and was aloft for only 28 minutes on Tuesday before contact was lost.

“The plane had logged a total of 280 hours in the air since its first flight, he added.

It is only the second F-35 to crash in the two-decades it has been flying and could reignite concern about the F-35 having only one engine.

Defence-first Japan intend to follow same plan against Iran

The incident came as Lockheed Martin, the F-35 manufacturer, competes for orders in Finland and Switzerland against the twin-engined Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F jet.

“The advanced, single-seat jet was flying in good weather about 135 km east of the Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture at about 7:27 p.m. (1027 GMT) on Tuesday when it disappeared from radar.

“We recovered the wreckage and determined it was from the F-35,” a spokesman for the Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) said, adding that the pilot of the aircraft was still missing.

Eight ships and seven aircraft, including a U.S. Navy P-8 Orion maritime patrol plane, are taking part in search and rescue efforts.

Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya told newsmen that the aircraft was at the front of a group of four planes out for training maneuvers when it sent an “aborting practice” signal and then disappeared from the radar.

“We’ll need to cooperate with the U.S. forces and I believe arrangements are being made for this,” Iwaya said, adding that the priority was on determining the cause of the accident.

A second ASDF official told Reuters that Japan has a total of 13 F-35s, including the one that crashed, which was the fifth delivered to the ASDF, but the first assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.

France face Japan in women’s World Cup warm-up

`Japan’s remaining 12 stealth jets are grounded for now.

“The previous four aircraft had been used for training in the United States before being brought to Japan,’’ the defense official said.

A representative for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said the company had no immediate comment.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd assembles the aircraft at a plant near Nagoya in central Japan.

The lost aircraft cost 14 billion yen (125.98 million dollars), several million dollars over one purchased directly from the U.S.

“The F-35’s pilot was a veteran flyer with 3,200 hours of flight time, but had spent only 60 hours in the F-35.

“The aircraft crashed in waters that reach a depth of around 1,500 meters, making recovery, particularly of the aircraft’s flight data recorder, difficult,’’ the official said.

Kindly Share This Story:
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from VANGUARD NEWS.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!