Japan Military's F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter Jet Reported Missing Over the Pacific
Lockheed Martin's F-35 can take-off and land vertically, and is one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world today.
Image for representation.(REUTERS)
Japan's military said on Tuesday it lost contact with one of its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters over the Pacific Ocean close to northern Japan. Japan's first squadron of F-35s has just become operational at the Misawa air base and the government plans to buy 87 of the stealth fighters to modernize its air defences as China's military power grows.
The advanced single-seat jet was flying about 135 km (84 miles) east of the air base in Aomori Prefecture at about 7:27 p.m. (1027 GMT) on Tuesday, when it disappeared from radar, the Air Self Defense Force said.
The military has launched a search for the missing aircraft and its pilot, it said in a statement.
A crash would be only the second time an F-35 has gone down since the plane began flying almost two decades ago. It would also be the first crash of an A version of the fifth-generation fighter designed to penetrate enemy defences by evading radar detection.
A U.S. military short take off and landing (STOVL) F-35B crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina in September prompting a temporary grounding of the aircraft. Lockheed Martin also makes a C version of the fighter designed to operate off carriers.
Japan's new F35s will include 18 short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) B variants that planners want to deploy on its islands along the edge of the East China Sea.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Lady Gaga Falls Off Stage With Fan During Concert in Las Vegas, See Video
- Akshay Kumar Trolled for Seven-year-old Comments, Sonakshi Sinha Defends Him
- 'Dayaben' Disha Vakani Looks Radiant as Ever in Her Comeback Appearance on TMKOC
- Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff Add Star Power to ISL Opening Ceremony
- 'Only Lionel Messi' Thread on Twitter Proves Why He is the Best in Football