Japanese Fighter Jet Crashes in Pacific; Pilot Remains Missing

Japanese Fighter Jet Crashes in Pacific; Pilot Remains Missing

Japanese Fighter Jet Crashes in Pacific; Pilot Remains Missing

They say the pilot contacted the other jets before the crash, saying he was cancelling the mission.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya grounded the Air Self-Defense Force's entire fleet of F-35As as a precaution after the aircraft went missing at about 7:30pm local time, half an hour after taking off.

The response from the Navy and the 5th Air Force, which is coordinating requests for air support and disseminating information to USA forces aiding in the search, underscores the importance of the search and rescue effort, even as pieces of the plane have already been located, with no sign of the pilot.

He was flying what is considered the best stealth jet technology in the skies. "All 276 U.S. F-35's continue to fly", Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

The Lockheed Martin Corp.

It marked the first-ever crash of an F-35A fighter jet, which performs normal take-offs and landings like other planes, according to the ministry.

Japan's first squadron of F-35s has just become operational at Misawa, and the government plans to buy 87 of the stealth fighters to modernise its air defences as neighbouring China and Russian Federation upgrade their military forces.

"The U.S. Department of Defense is closely monitoring the situation in Japan".

"Certification when it's new is pretty demanding".

The jet belonged to the country's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF).

"We will do everything in our power to find the missing pilot", Iwaya said.

"The pilot appears to have thought he was in command and not in imminent danger", Layton said. As I reported previously, the first locally assembled F-35A was rolled out in June 2017.

The last time this happened the plane crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

The pilot is a man in his 40s, Mr Iwaya said.

"The current unit price of the F-35 ranges from US$90 million (S$122 million) to US$115 million per aircraft, comparable to what we have paid for our F-15SGs", he revealed.

Japan's military said on Tuesday that it has lost contact with one of its stealth fighters, according to Reuters.

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