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Navy Confirms Newly Emerged Video Shows F-35 Crash In South China Sea

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 28, 2022 - 08:18 PM

The US Navy has confirmed that an image and video that emerged in social media this week showing the crash landing of an advanced F-35C stealth fighter is authentic. It crashed and apparently rolled off the USS Vinson aircraft carrier and landed in the South China Sea on Monday.

The US Navy is reportedly working on the daunting task of recovering the aircraft after the "landing mishap" which injured seven in total, including the pilot who had successfully ejected and six sailors who were presumably injured while on the flight deck. "The ship has assessed that the video and photo covered by media today were taken onboard USS Carl Vinson," Cmdr. Hayley Sims, a 7th Fleet public affairs officer, belatedly acknowledged Friday. He said the images, one of which was posted to Reddit, were taken from aboard the carrier "during the crash." Here is now confirmed authentic video...

CNN was the first to report the Navy's confirmation of the imagery authenticity, writing that "The $100 million warplane impacted the flight deck of the 100,000-ton aircraft carrier and then fell into the water as its pilot ejected, Navy officials said. The pilot and six sailors aboard the Vinson were injured."

"A video shows the F-35 on its landing approach to the aircraft carrier but cuts off before the plane impacts the flight deck," CNN details based on Navy statements. "The Navy said earlier this week that the damage to the Vinson was only superficial, and it and the carrier's air wing have resumed normal operations."

Below is the now confirmed authentic photo which first emerged in social media. The F-35 is floating in the water with its cockpit open, and soon after sank to the bottom of the South China Sea...

Complicated Navy recovery operations are underway, especially given the US doesn't want the closely guarded and secretive stealth technology to fall into the hands of China

US military sources were earlier in the week quoted as saying it remains vital that "no one else can get their hands on the plane" - without doubt an indirect reference to China, which has a heavy military presence in the region. According to a US military quote

The US presently faces the challenge of pulling the wreckage out of the contested waters of the South China Sea to recover US technology, as well as make sure no one else can get their hands on the plane. "The planning efforts are ongoing for the recovery of the F-35," a 7th Fleet spokesman told Insider.

Experts say China would almost certainly want to get ahold of the F-35, a highly-capable fifth-generation fighter jet that has taken many years and significant funding to research and develop. 

The white smoke seen at the very end of the brief crash clip is believed to be the moment the pilot ejected.

The F-35 stealth manufacturer Lockheed Martin had announced last August when the USS Vinson had departed San Diego: "This deployment marks the first time in U.S. naval aviation history that a stealth strike fighter has been deployed operationally on an aircraft carrier," it said.

This is the second crash of an F-35 in a matter of months at sea. Last November, a British F-35 stealth jet has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during what was described at the time as routine flying operations from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. 

Via Daily Mail

F-35 fighters are an estimated 135 million dollars, with cutting-edge stealth technology and radar. The controversial program overseen by Congress has been notoriously costly. 

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