Wreckage confirmed to be crashed Japanese F-35 fighter, pilot still missing

Wreckage confirmed to be crashed Japanese F-35 fighter, pilot still missing

Wreckage confirmed to be crashed Japanese F-35 fighter, pilot still missing

There was no word yet on the fate of the single pilot on board the jet, Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said yesterday.

Japanese defense officials say a search is underway for a fighter jet after it disappeared from radar during a flight exercise in northern Japan. According to the ministry's report, parts of the jets were recovered but its pilot is still missing.

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, he said.

Misawa is the home of the 302 Hikotai (Squadron), the unit previously operating the F-4EJ "Kai", that has officially moved to Misawa air base to operate the JASDF F-35A 5th generation aircraft after retiring its last Phatom on March 26, 2019.

Japan plans to eventually deploy a total of 105 F-35As in addition to 42 F-35B short takeoff aircraft it will purchase at a later date.

Japan now operates only 12 total F-35s, down from 13 prior to yesterday's crash.

It was the first reported case of a crash by an F-35A, according to Japan's Air Self-Defence Force.

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Japan is one of 14 countries in the F-35 program, according to the plane's maker, Lockheed Martin Corp. The Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) confirmed the wreckage was that of the missing jet. The remaining F-35s will be grounded until the cause of Tuesday's crash is determined. The pilot safety ejected before the crash.

The search continues for the pilot of a Japanese fighter jet that crashed in Pacific Ocean Tuesday night.

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

The Japanese jet, a F-35A model, would be the second lost to an accident after a US Marine Corps F-35B crashed in Beaufort, South Carolina, in late September. In November past year, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the United Kingdom was doubling its fleet of F-35 fighters by ordering 17 more jets.

The loss of the JASDF F-35A is raising concerns in Washington that China and Russian Federation might try to recover the wreck of this plane from the sea floor to examine its secrets.

A Royal Air Force F-35A Lightning from 617 Sqn taking-off.

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