The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has released details of its crashed F-35A fighter jet.
Japanese defense officials said on 10 April that an F-35A stealth fighter, one of the world’s most advanced warplanes, crashed into the Pacific Ocean while on a training mission on Tuesday.
Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft and vessels found plane’s debris on water two hours after it disappeared from radar.
The F-35A aircraft that went missing on Apr. 9 on its from Misawa Air Base on the northern tip of the main Japanese island of Honshu was is the first Japanese-assembled F-35A, and was rolled out in Nagoya on Jun. 5, 2017.
The first Japanese-assembled F-35A 79-8705 (AX-05) was unveiled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility on June 5, 2017. First flight was on July 12, 2017.
The lost jet’s pilot signaled a need to abort the mission shortly before radar contact was lost, Japenese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Wednesday morning.
Search teams have recovered parts from the plane’s tail fins, Iwaya said. Japanese and US forces continue to look for the pilot, he said.
According to the officials, the F-35A jet, based at Misawa Air Base on the northern tip of the main Japanese island of Honshu, was about 135 kilometers (84 miles) off the east coast of Aomori prefecture when contact was lost.