National & International

British F-35 fighter crashes in Mediterranean

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A British F-35 fighter jet has crashed into the sea during a routine operation in the Mediterranean, the Ministry of Defence has said, according to the BBC.

The pilot ejected and has safely returned to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and an investigation has begun, the MoD added.

The incident occurred at 10:00 GMT over international waters and no other aircraft were involved.

The MoD said it would be inappropriate to comment during the investigation.

The investigation is likely to focus on potential technical or human error, BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said.

There are eight UK F-35Bs on the carrier and 10 from the US Marine Corps. They have conducted around 2,000 take-off and landings on board HMS Queen Elizabeth without any major incident over the past six months.

The aircraft are Britain’s most advanced and expensive jets. Costing almost £100m, they can land vertically, similar to the Harrier Jump Jet, and combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds.

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