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Royal Navy submarines and special forces race to recover £100m F-35 fighter jet that crashed before the Russians in the Mediterranean

Royal Navy submarines and special forces are racing to recover the British fighter jet that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea before the Russians.

The £100m RAF F-35 from the UK aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth crashed during a routine operation on Wednesday morning.

Royal Navy submarines and special forces are racing to recover the jet

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Royal Navy submarines and special forces are racing to recover the jetCredit: AP
RAF F-35 - one of the most advanced aircraft in the world

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RAF F-35 – one of the most advanced aircraft in the worldCredit: PA: Press Association

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The state-of-the-art jet plane, one of the most advanced in the world, plunged to the bottom of the Mediterranean and was destroyed on impact.

The plane was located on Wednesday afternoon with the seabed area believed to be manned by an Anglo-American security team until the jet was fully recovered.

A Brit pilot, who has not been named, was forced to eject but was rescued aboard a Merlin search and rescue helicopter and safely aboard the aircraft carrier.

Top Brass quickly dispatched salvage teams to retrieve top-secret wreckage from an area under Russian surveillance.

The operation, shrouded in secrecy, is believed to involve smaller submarines and divers.

They are frantically trying to get what they can from the wreckage before Vladimir Putin’s submarine sniffs around.

“Fortunately, the Med isn’t that deep,” one source said.

The plane, which can reach 1.6 times the speed of sound, is believed to have crashed between Cyprus and Egypt at around 10am UK time.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the pilot ejected “immediately after take-off” and confirmed he was a member of the Royal Navy.

“The F-35 left the plane shortly after takeoff,” he said. .”

Last night, retired Rear Admiral Chris Parry said: “While an investigation will determine the exact cause of the crash, it appears the crash was caused by an engine failure.

“Despite the F-35B’s good safety record, it is inevitable that some high-performance aircraft, operating in demanding maritime environments, will be lost at some stage.”

According to the RAF’s website, the jet’s technology allows it to operate undetected in hostile airspace.

The F-35 is operated by the RAF’s world-renowned 617 Squadron, formed in 1943 for the famous Dambusters raid on German dams.

It is believed to be the first non-US loss of the F-35B, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings like the now-retired British Harrier jump jet.

Enemy action is not believed to have been taken and an investigation is likely to focus on potential human or technical failure.

No other ships or aircraft are involved and all other operations and training will continue.

A UK Department of Defense spokesman said: “A British F-35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flight operations over the Mediterranean this morning.

“The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has commenced, so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

The carrier’s top batteries were pitted against Russian MiG and Sukhoi jets as they headed east on the carrier strike group’s maiden voyage around the world in early summer .

The UK has committed to buy 138 F-35Bs, but only 24 have been delivered.

“No, we have 23,” added one source.

There are 18 ships on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, 8 from the UK and 10 from the US Marines.

Jets from the ship have previously participated in air strikes against the remnants of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

But the stealth jets came under fire after the pilots experienced breathing problems on board.

A NASA study found that experts had “some pretty concerning findings” on the matter, leading to psychopathic episodes.

There are 18 jets on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

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There are 18 jets on board HMS Queen ElizabethCredit: PA: Press Association
F-35 Lightning jets land and take off from Britain’s next-generation aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time

https://www.the-sun.com/news/4086483/raf-fighter-jet-crash-sea-pilot-ejects/ Royal Navy submarines and special forces race to recover £100m F-35 fighter jet that crashed before the Russians in the Mediterranean

DevanCole

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