A Japanese F-35A fighter jet is missing; remaining 12 are grounded

CC0SECRET F-35 Tech Will Be Compromised Should Turkey Buy S-400 US Media Claims

CC0SECRET F-35 Tech Will Be Compromised Should Turkey Buy S-400 US Media Claims

"We recovered the wreckage and determined it was from the F-35", a spokesman for the Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) said, adding that the pilot of the aircraft was still missing.

No problems with the aircraft were reported before it went missing, NHK reported.

Debris was found in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday near where the aircraft disappeared from radar about 30 minutes after taking off from the Misawa air base in northern Japan. The anticipated purchase makes Japan the largest worldwide buyer of F-35 aircraft.

Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya told journalists it is not clear if the F-35 crashed.

As a outcome of that mishap, nearly all the F-35s were shortly grounded on Thursday, October 12, 2018 for safety inspections of their fuel flow systems.

13 F-35A are now based at Misawa AB, based on Japanese media reports.

Iwaya says 12 other F-35s at the Misawa base will be grounded.

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The Japanese F-35 fighter jet missing in the Pacific could be a major security headache for the US if Russian Federation or China locate the state-of-the-art fighter jet first, experts warn.

The last time this happened the plane crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

The F-35C model is the US Navy's version, designed for use off its aircraft carriers.

Under guidelines approved in December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government plans to buy 147 F-35s, including 105 F-35As, costing about 10 billion yen (NZ$133 million) each.

The F-35 stealth jet has been called the most expensive weapons system in history, and its development was beset by multiple delays before it was deemed combat ready. Just before the crash, the pilot contacted the other jets in an attempt to cancel the mission, according to officials.

The F-35's advanced electronic warfare suite can allow seamless integration among users, making the planes strong counters to China's growing fleet of stealth aircraft, including the J-20 and J-31.

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