Race to defeat China and retrieve $100 million US F-35 stealth fighter from South China Sea after crash landing
The US faces a race to defeat China by recovering an F-35 stealth fighter that plunged into the South China Sea Monday after what the navy called a “landing accident” aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
The pilot was forced to eject and a total of seven soldiers were injured.
The $100 million fighter jet, modified for naval operations, plunged overboard, the US 7th Fleet said.
“An F-35C Lightning II assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 embarked aboard USS (CVN 70) had a landing accident and struck the cockpit, then fell into the water during routine flight operations,” the statement said. nasty News from the US Naval Institute.
“The impact on the cockpit was superficial and all flight operations equipment is operational.”
It added that the aircraft carrier could have resumed normal flight operations shortly after.
But it leaves the navy with a complex salvage operation if its most advanced fighter jet, crammed with futuristic technology, is prevented from falling into Chinese hands.
The US Navy did not respond to follow-up questions about whether or not to launch a salvage operation.
The USS Carl Vinson is seen with the USS Essex behind it in a January 2022 photo
Sailors taxi an F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the ‘Argonauts’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, in the cockpit of the USS Carl Vinson on January 22
US Navy South China Sea crash was EIGHTH time $100 million jets failed in the past eight years
June 23, 2014: A USAF F-35A had a catastrophic engine fire caused by a broken rotor, turning it into a blaze as it took off in Florida.
October 27, 2016: A US Marine Corp F-35B was set ablaze mid-flight due to a fire in the weapons bay before the pilot landed safely in Beaufort, South Carolina.
September 28, 2018: All operational F-35s were grounded while a probe was launched to investigate why an in-flight fuel tube failed after a horror crash at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.
Apr 9, 2019: Parts of the tail of a Japanese F-35 were found during a training mission in the sea about 80 miles (80 km) east of Misawa.
May 19, 2020: This crash of the F-35 on landing was caused by a tired, distracted pilot and an unresponsive tail glitch.
September 20, 2020: An F-35 stealth fighter jet fell from the sky and exploded on the ground after hitting a KC-130J tanker in a mid-air collision near the Salton Sea in Imperial County, California.
September 20, 2020: An F-35 stealth fighter jet fell from the sky and exploded on the ground after hitting a KC-130J tanker in a mid-air collision near the Salton Sea in Imperial County, California
November 17, 2021: An RAF F-35B plunged into the Mediterranean Sea after the pilot attempted to abort the take-off of HMS Queen Elizabeth. Early reports suggested the engine was sucked into an intake cover.
The F35 is the only long-range fighter designed to operate from aircraft carriers.
In addition to its radar-avoiding design, it’s packed with sensors that send updates directly to the pilot’s helmet.
Last year, Britain appealed to the US for help in finding an F-35B Lightning II that had fallen in the Mediterranean during a failed take-off from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
London asked for help for fear that Russia would try to save the plane and copy the technology.
It was recovered last month during a covert operation.
The US Navy jet was part of a deployment designed to bolster the US presence near Taiwan after China buzzed the island’s airspace.
The incident happened during “routine flight operations” in the South China Sea, according to a statement from the Navy.
The pilot was ejected safely from the plane and was recovered via a US military helicopter.
The pilot is in stable condition. A total of seven sailors were injured.’
The statement said three of the personnel had to be evacuated to a medical facility in Manila and four aboard the courier were treated and released.
It said all evacuated personnel were in a stable condition.
The Navy said the cause of the “in-flight accident” on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is being investigated.
“The status of the aircraft is currently under investigation, as are the factors involved in the accident,” said Brenda Way, a spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet. The War Zone.
The F-35 was made by Lockheed Martin and the USS Carl Vinson first deployed from its base in San Diego in August with F-35C Lightning II fighter jets and Navy CMV-22B Osprey on board.
The F-35C is the carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter that is being built in three versions for the Air Force, Marines and Navy.
The Navy version can fly 1.6 times the speed of sound and has a combat radius of 600 nautical miles.
“Vinson is the first airline to host a mix of 4th and 5th generation attack fighters, providing unparalleled lethality and survivability, ensuring the naval team can operate and win in the contested battlespace now and in the future,” said Captain Tommy Locke, commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, in August.
An F-35C Lightning II test aircraft approaches for landing aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, in 2015
The aircraft carriers were located in the Philippine Sea, which is east (right) of Taiwan and west of the US territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Captain P. Scott Miller, Commander of USS Carl Vinson
The Pentagon said two US Navy Carrier Strike Groups, led by the Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln, began operations in the South China Sea on Sunday.
The airlines entered the disputed sea for training when Taiwan reported another Chinese air force raid on the top of the waterway.
The Carl Vinson is supported by more than 5,000 crew members and carries 65 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.
This is only the second major accident involving an F-35 operating from an aircraft carrier.
A British F-35B Joint Strike Fighter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in November during a failed take-off attempt by the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The pilot was successfully ejected in that incident and the aircraft was recovered.
US strengthens military presence near Taiwan after Chinese buzzed the skies
Taiwan said 13 Chinese planes flew into the country’s airspace and it reported 39 Chinese Air Force planes in space on Sunday.
The South China Sea and Taiwan are sources of tension between the United States and China. The US Navy began an increased presence in the South China Sea on Saturday.
Carl Vinson strike group:
Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson
Carrier Air Wing 2
Cruiser USS Lake Champlain
Destroyer USS Stockdale
Destroyer USS Chafee
Replenishment ship USNS Yukon
Dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers
Abraham Lincoln strike group:
Aircraft Carrier Abraham Lincoln
Carrier Air Wing 9
Cruiser USS Mobile Bay
Destroyer USS Fitzgerald
Destroyer USS Gridley
Destroyer USS Sampson (now en route to Tonga to assist with underwater volcanic eruption relief efforts)
Destroyer USS Spruance
Two US amphibious assault ships