Wreckage of Missing Japan Fighter Jet Found, Pilot Missing

Japan is deploying F-35As, each costing more than 10 billion yen (USD 90 million), to replace the F-4 fighter jet.

1 min read
This June 2017  photo shows Japan Air Self-Defense Forces F-35A stealth jet at a factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in Toyoyama, central Japan. A search was underway for the Japanese fighter jet Tuesday, 9 April 2019, after it disappeared from radar during a flight exercise in northern Japan, defense officials said.

Wreckage from a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter jet has been found a day after it disappeared off the radar over the Pacific, the country's defence minister said on Wednesday, 10 April.

There was no word yet on the fate of the one pilot on board the jet, Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said.

"We have collected part of its tail" in search operations at sea with planes and vessels, Iwaya told reporters.

"We believe it crashed," he added.

The fighter jet went missing around 7:30 pm (16:00 IST)on Tuesday, 9 April, as it was flying some 135 kilometres east of Misawa, northeastern Japan, on a training mission.

The plane lost contact about 30 minutes after taking off from Misawa Air Base with three other aircraft.

Japan is deploying F-35As, each of which costs more than 10 billion yen (USD 90 million), to replace the ageing F-4 fighter jet.

The jet was one of 13 F-35s deployed at the base, according to a defence official.

The remaining 12 F-35A fighters have been grounded for the time being, according to the defence ministry. (AFP)

(Published in an arrangement with PTI)

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