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F-35 fighter jet crashes into US carrier in South China Sea 7 injured

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement on the 24th (local time) that a U.S. F-35 fighter pilot crashed on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier in the South China Sea, injuring seven people.

According to CNN and others, the pilot was performing a one-off flight operation when the crash occurred. They escaped safely and were retrieved by a military helicopter, the US Pacific Fleet said. The pilot’s condition is said to be stable now.

The US Pacific Fleet said another six people were injured on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and three people were sent to a medical facility in Manila, Philippines, where they were in good condition. The remaining three were treated at the carrier.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement that “a minor accident on board” was the cause and said an investigation is ongoing.

The crash is the first accident of the F-35C, a variant of the US Navy’s single-engine stealth fighter designed for operation on aircraft carriers.

The F-35 version is also in service with US allies and partners, including Japan, South Korea, the UK, Australia, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Israel. More countries have ordered this version of the fighter.

Fighter maker Lockheed Martin said of the F-35 variant of the fighter, “a more robust landing pad to handle takeoff and landing from an aircraft carrier, wings that fold to fit on a crowded flight deck, larger wings, slightly larger payload and slightly longer operation. It is characterized by a range.”

The F-35C is the last of three variants that were put into service only in 2019.

When the USS Carl Vinson left San Diego in August of last year, it was the first of 11 carriers in the US Navy to be deployed with the F-35C.

Lockheed Martin said at the time, “This deployment is the first time in the history of U.S. Naval aviation that a stealth fighter has been operationally deployed on an aircraft carrier.”

However, the F-35 fighter accident occurred for the second time this year.

According to the Korean Air Force, on the 4th, an F-35 pilot made an emergency landing at an Air Force base because the landing gear malfunctioned due to an electronic device problem.

[서울=뉴시스]

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