In late January, a $135 million single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth fighter jet designed by Lockheed Martin crash-landed aboard the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea. A partial video of the incident was published days after the Jan. 24 crash but didn't show the full impact until now.
A leaked video emerged on the internet on Sunday and shows what appears to be the entirety of the crash.
The advanced F-35C stealth fighter was on approach to land on the USS Carl Vinson as flight crews can be heard calling off the landing, but it was too late, as the jet undershot the flight deck, causing its engine and tail to smack the deck and miss the tailhook. The plane exploded into flames as it slid off the carrier's flight deck into the South China Sea.
Leaked video of the F-35C crash on Carl Vinson, a classic case of ramp strike by the most advanced fielded fighter jet pic.twitter.com/wVl5nLI1bN— Fighterman_FFRC (@Fighterman_FFRC) February 6, 2022
Here's another video behind and underneath the flight deck, showing the F-35C's engine and tail hitting the carrier.
too much poweeeeer. F-35C bump crashing on the USS Carl Vinson pic.twitter.com/tJKtzEwYaA— Lost Weapons (@LostWeapons) January 28, 2022
Below is a confirmed photo of the F-35C floating in the South China Sea after sliding off the flight deck.
The landing mishap injured a total of seven, including the pilot who had successfully ejected and six sailors who were presumably injured while on the flight deck.
The US Navy has yet to verify the new video but has confirmed the leaked image above. This is the second crash of an F-35 in a matter of months at sea. Last November, a British F-35 stealth jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during what was described as routine flying operations from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
It remains a mystery how the world's most advanced fighter jet, equipped with cutting-edge stealth technology and radar, was able to undershoot a landing on the carrier.