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British F35 Fighter Jet Crashes Into Mediterranean

An F-35 fighter jet prepares to land on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth last month / AP. An F35 from the U.K. Military has crashed in...

An F-35 fighter jet prepares to land on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth last month / AP.
An F35 from the U.K. Military has crashed into the Mediterranean on Wednesday morning after the pilot was forced to eject during a routine mission, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).  The pilot, part of the crew of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, was found safe and has since been returned to the ship, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a brief statement.

The pilot was immediately rescued and a subsequent investigation is already underway to analyze the F-35 fighter jet incident, which happened at roughly 5:00 AM EST. While no other vessels or people were harmed from the ordeal, the F35B Lightning jet is the most advanced in the U.K.'s airpower and costs roughly $134 million (£100 million). And that's not accounting for roughly $9.1 million per year.

The Ministry of Defence announced that an “urgent investigation” was underway into the incident, which involved no other aircraft or naval vessels from any other country. “A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” said the MoD. “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 investigation will reportedly focus on potential technical or human error. The F-35, worth more than £100 million each, is the UK’s first aircraft which uses highly-advanced and sensitive ‘stealth technology’. Efforts are underway, it is believed, to see if it can be recovered from the water.

The eight aircraft on board HMS Queen Elizabeth took part in operations against Isis in the Summer before the strike group led by the aircraft-carrier sailed to the Far East into disputed waters in the Indo-Pacific. The “fifth generation” F-35 is one of the most expensive air weapons platforms in the world; the UK has signed deal worth nine billion pounds to buy 28 aircraft by 2025.

The cost of the aircraft, built by Lockheed-Martin, continued to rise during the manufacturing process leading to strong criticism from former US president, Donald Trump.

In addition, a long list of problems emerged with the Pentagon acknowledging that 275 different faults have been found in the attack system. The US Marine Corps suspended operations on its version of the aircraft, the same as the ones used by the UK, after computer malfunctions.