The British Defense Ministry said on Twitter that “operations to successfully retrieve a British F-35 jet in the Mediterranean have been successfully completed.”
“NATO allies (they) Italy and the United States offered their support during the rescue operation,” the Atlantic Alliance’s air command stated on the social network.
The US-made F-35B HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s flagship, took off from Elizabeth on November 17 and crashed while returning from work in the Indo – Pacific region. The pilot was able to exit on time.
The video, which was filmed on the plane and aired by British media, shows the plane falling into the water from a slope at the end of the site. The sailor suspected of leaking the video has been arrested and returned to the UK, according to the UK Defense Journal.
According to The Sun Daily, British security officials believe the crash was caused by a plastic engine cover left in one of the plane’s air intakes.
On November 22, British and NATO officials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth promised the AFP.
Authorities did not release details of the rescue operation, saying it should be kept secret.
The UK already owns 21 US-made F-35Bs, mostly for its two aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales. Each jet will cost over 100 million euros.
The F-35Bs are a variant of the fifth generation F-35, with vertical landing and short take-off capabilities.
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