British F-35 crashes in the Mediterranean

A Royal Air Force (RAF) F-35B crashed.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the crash occurred during a routine flight over the Mediterranean on Wednesday morning.

The fighter aircraft was operated from HMS Queen Elizabeth. The pilot managed to shoot himself out of the plane and was later rescued from the sea and transported back to the carrier.

British people are very sparse in what information they share. On Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, they wrote that it was inappropriate to make further comment at this time, and that they were in the process of starting an investigation into the crash.

Fifth F-35 missing

This is the fifth copy of the F-35 that crashed:

USMC F-35B crashed on September 28 2018, Japanese F-35A crashed into the sea on April 9 2019, a US Air Force F-35A crashed on landing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on May 19, 2020 and USMC F -35B crashed on September 29, 2020 after coming into contact with the tanker KC-130J in connection with aerial refueling over California.

Immediately after the first total accident, it became clear that the cause of the trigger was a manufacturing fault in the fuel pipe. A US Marine Corps F-35B plane crashed about 50 kilometers southwest of Charleston in South Carolina. Even then, the pilots did well.

Not so with the experienced Japanese pilot who crashed 135 kilometers east of Misawa airport in 2019. Here, the investigation later concluded that a phenomenon called “spatial disorientation”, or sensory illusion in Norwegian, may have been a factor in his loss. .control and fly straight to the sea.

This is the only fatal crash with the F-35. The pilot at Eglin in May 2020 managed to shoot himself. Pilots aboard an F-35B in California did the same in October 2020, while the crew of the Hercules ejected their plane unharmed.

An F-35B takes off from HMS Queen Elizabeth during an exercise in October 2021, here with the USS Carl Vinson and JS Kaga. Photo: Russel Class 3 Petty Officer

Five users

The UK declared its first operational capability (IOC) with its F-35Bs in January 2019. On 11 October this year, the UK’s F-35 fleet passed tens of thousands of accumulated flight hours. The plan is still to acquire a total of 138 F-35Bs.

The US Marine Corps also owns the F-35B, belonging to the 211 Squadron, currently boarding HMS Queen Elizabeth along with the UK 617 Squadron.

The 617 resurfaced as the RAF’s first operational F-35 squadron and are best known for the dam bombings during World War II which earned them the nickname “Dambusters”.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is on its way back to the UK with the remaining carrier carrier Carrier Strike Group 21 which has been deployed since May.

The F-35B is the STOVL (short takeoff/vertical landing) version of the fighter jet. It is currently in service with the US Marine Corps and British Royal Air Force (RAF) and is being operated by the Italian Marina Militare, where it will operate from the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour.

Singapore has also ordered F-35Bs, but so far only four aircraft, while Japan 2024 will receive the first of 42 F-35B orders that will be operational from the two multi-role fighters “Izumu” and “Kaga”.

The sixth user of the F-35B will probably be Spain on the day they have to phase out the current EAV-8B Harrier (VA-2 Matador II), operating from the “Juan Carlos I”.

Matt Thompson

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