British RAF F-35 fighter jet crashes into the Mediterranean Sea
UK Royal Air Force F-35 combat aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea earlier today.
The pilot was safely rescued and returned to the aircraft carrier.
Earlier in November, the UK took delivery of three F-35 stealth fighters, at a cost of £100 million ($135 million) apiece.
British Ministry of Defense (MoD) issued a statement, announcing that a Royal Air Force (RAF) F-35 combat aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea today. The pilot of the jet has managed to safely eject from the plane before the crash.
The pilot was safely rescued and returned to the aircraft carrier and an investigation has been launched into the incident.
According to the MoD statement, a “British F-35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning.”
“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” the ministry added.
Today’s F-35 crash is the first incident reported for the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Earlier in November, the UK took delivery of three F-35 stealth fighters, at a cost of £100 million ($135 million) apiece, bringing the total number in the country’s fleet to 24.
The British government has ordered six more jets, which are set to arrive next year, and seven that are due in 2023, with the aim of having 48 active F-35s by 2025.
HMS Queen Elizabeth – the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier – had eight UK F-35s on board, as well as 10 American F-35s. It recently returned to Europe after spending more than seven months on its maiden voyage through the South China Sea and into the Indo-Pacific region.
The Ministry of Defence has not yet recovered the plane, which is believed to have crashed into the sea at 10am GMT on Wednesday, and no other aircraft were involved in the incident.
Despite the launch of an investigation, all remaining F-35s and training flights are continuing uninterrupted.