A Royal Air Force F-35B Plane Has Crashed into the Mediterranean
The pilot evacuated and was safely returned to the ship. The ministry said an inquiry into the event, which occurred during regular flying operations, had commenced. The incident occurred at 10:00 GMT during a normal mission from the carrier, according to the MoD. There were no other planes engaged.
Britain employs the F-35B, a single-engine, short-take off vertical landing version stealth aircraft that costs around $115 million to manufacture.
The F-35B was one of eight British planes on board Queen Elizabeth returning from a mission in the Far East. The plane is one of 24 that have been supplied to the British thus far.
Following the collision on Wednesday, Martin-Baker, the British maker of the F-35's ejection seat, praised its product. "so far, we've saved the lives of 7,662 aircrews from across the world," the business announced on Twitter. Ejection seats manufactured by Martin-Baker are utilised on a variety of aircraft, not just F-35s.
This was the first operational deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth, serving as the focal point of a British-led carrier strike group that included the US and Dutch vessels.
A Japanese F-35A fighter jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern Japan in April 2019, killing the pilot. The Japanese Defence Ministry ultimately blamed the disaster on spatial disorientation, which meant the pilot couldn't properly assess his surroundings and flew the stealth fighter straight into the water during the night training operation.
A US Air Force F-35A crashed in Florida during regular training in May 2020, but the pilot bailed safely.