British F-35 jet crashed in Mediterranean, no victims reported
20:58, 17 November 2021
Authorities of the United Kingdom have opened an investigation.
The UK Ministry of Defense announced that an F-35 aircraft crashed in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday.
According to the MoD Twitter post released after the incident, the plane took off from HMS Queen Elizabeth and went for routine operations before it went down. The pilot has successfully ejected and returned to the vessel.
A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning.
The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
The ministry refused to provide any comments as long as the investigation continues. It also said that the ship functioned ordinarily and resumed its journey after carrying out drills with the Indian fleet.
According to preliminary data, the incident occurred around 10 a.m. GMT and no other planes were involved.
Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace said that the plane went down shortly after its take-off, adding that he was happy that the pilot was safe and sound.
The US-made F-35 planes, worth around $100 mln each, are considered to be Britain’s top aircraft as well as the most expensive ones. According to the British military, their task is now to locate and recover the jet.
U.S. Air Force/wikimedia.orgU.S. Air Force/wikimedia.org
The F-35 incident is the first in Britain’s practice. However, similar crashes have already occurred in the US, for instance, that of September 28 when an F-35B jet crashed in South Carolina.