The British are looking for a fighter plane that has fallen in the Mediterranean: “Submarine races with the Russians”

London scared of top secret technology leak

Royal Navy submarines and SWAT teams undertook an underwater race to find the crashed £ 100m F-35 fighter jet using top-secret stealth technology and lifting it from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. A British Air Force pilot ejected after a £ 100m stealth plane crashed into the water shortly after takeoff from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The British fear that the ultra-modern car could fall into the hands of Russia.


“Royal Navy submarines are racing against the Russians to lift a £ 100 million crashed plane from the Mediterranean Sea using top-secret technology,” writes the British Daily Mail.

A British Air Force pilot had to eject from its F-35B Lightning when it crashed into the sea shortly after taking off in a “routine exercise” from the flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The aircraft was one of eight British jets aboard the aircraft carrier.

After plunging into international waters, the accident sparked a fight to find the next generation jet from the bottom of the sea before Russia could reach it, writes the Daily Mail. The F35-B is said to have crashed for the first time in such an area.

The technology aboard the US-developed aircraft, including top-secret radar and sensors, is extremely sensitive as it allows the F-35 to “stealthily” fly over hostile territory at supersonic speeds. However, it is likely that China already knows everything there is to know about the plane due to espionage, the Daily Mail notes. The British Air Force describes the Lightning as a fifth generation combat aircraft capable of air-to-surface strikes and electronic warfare. The aircraft uses a set of sensors to stay undetected in enemy airspace.

The plane was sighted Wednesday afternoon and the site on the seabed will be guarded by an Anglo-American security team until the plane is brought to the surface. The operation, shrouded in secrecy, is believed to involve divers and miniature submarines.

This is the most advanced and expensive aircraft in the UK, with a single-seater capable of landing vertically and only requires a short runway to take off. The incident was the first accident for a British Air Force F-35B fleet and a £ 3bn aircraft carrier that left British shores seven months ago.

The crash this week raises new questions about the F-35B, 24 of which are currently in the UK. The UK is set to buy 138 fighters from US aviation giant Lockheed Martin for £ 9.1 billion in the coming years, 48 ​​of which are expected to be delivered by 2025.

In 2018, an American F-35 pilot was forced to eject in the air after a fighter jet crashed in South Carolina during a training exercise. And last year, an F-35B plane crashed near the El Centro naval aviation complex in California after colliding with a KC-130J, US officials told USNI News.

Retired Rear Admiral Chris Parry said : “Although the investigation will establish the exact cause of the accident, it appears that the accident was due to an engine malfunction. Despite the F-35B's good safety record, it was inevitable that some of these high-performance aircraft, which operate in apparently difficult sea conditions, were lost at some stage. ”

The UK Department of Defense said Wednesday night that “no hostile actions” were involved in the plane crash. The investigation focuses on a technical error or human error. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The F-35 crashed shortly after takeoff. We're glad the pilot is safe and back on board. Our operational and training flights continue. ”

It is reported that the ejected pilot, who received minor injuries, was rescued by helicopter. The pilot's family was informed of the crash before military commanders issued a statement of the incident yesterday afternoon.

Sailing to the Far East and drawing attention from both Russia and China, the £ 3bn aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth sterling was in the eastern Mediterranean after leaving Oman. It is understood that not only eight British F-35s, but also ten US aircraft are on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth. They made about 2000 takeoffs and landings without incident.

In 2020, US military tests revealed 276 different malfunctions in the aircraft's combat system.

According to the Daily Mail, the planes suffer from a number of problems, due to which costs are soaring. There are fears that, due to the flaws in the technical systems underlying the new generation of combat aircraft, they will not be able to function normally.

The real value of the British planes delivered this year is estimated at £ 150 million each to cover “additional services” such as software updates and spare parts. There are also concerns that the aircraft's software system is vulnerable to cyberattacks and cannot be tested separately in the UK.

Weak broadband on the Royal Navy's main aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, also reduces the aircraft's capabilities.

While the cost of the F-35 was in the spotlight, there were also nasty reports of operational flaws from the United States. In a simulated aerial combat in 2015, the ultra-modern aircraft was defeated by an older generation F-16 aircraft developed in the 1970s.

In 2020, Pentagon tests revealed nearly three hundred different faults in the aircraft's combat system. These included excessive vibration from the 25mm cannon and problems with the aircraft's virtual reality helmet. Problems with overheating, premature wear of vertical liner components and vulnerability to fire have also been found.


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