A U.S. Navy stealth fighter jet has been pulled from the seabed of the South China Sea after it crashed into the deck of a Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and was launched into the sea in January, the Navy said Thursday.
A 7th Fleet-based Naval Rescue Team based in Japan and the Naval Systems Command, working from the contractor Picasso, brought the wreckage of the F-35C Lightning II to the surface Wednesday using a remote-controlled submarine to the jet in the ship’s crane, the Navy said in a press release.
The Navy said the wreckage would be transported to a nearby military facility for inspection as part of an ongoing investigation into the January 24 crash.
A video leaked by Carl Vinson sailors shows the jet hitting the deck of the ship and sliding forward along the deck in flames before sinking into the sea. The pilot jumped in the middle of the slide, the video shows.
Seven sailors were injured, including the pilot. Since then, everyone has returned to their duties.
Vinson, who returned to San Diego last month, was conducting “routine” operations in the area, the Navy said. Photographs released by the service in the days before the crash showed the ship working with another San Diego-based airline – Abraham Lincoln – performing what the Navy called dual-carrier operations with each ship’s F-35C supplement. .
The near-continuous presence of US warships in the South China Sea reflects the Fleet Fleet’s stated operational priority – to ensure a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” as the 7th Fleet said in its release.
Navy recovers crashed F-35C jet from bottom of South China Sea Source link Navy recovers crashed F-35C jet from bottom of South China Sea