F-35 - News and Discussions

Lieutenant

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The simple fact is, 12g fighters can be built.
A major limiting factor of fighter aircraft design is the need to accommodate incompressible, low speed, flow for take-offs and landings.
If , instead, the aircraft is built in 2 pieces, the aircraft can be designed for entirely compressible flow; allowing the wings to have a lower aspect ratio. Fighter wings limiting design point is torsional stiffness, the lower profile ratio allows stiffness to be maintained by deepening the airfoil thickness and reducing the skin thickness. To sustain higher gloadings, the pilots would have to wear water filled suits. The second part of the aircraft would be a !ifting wing for take-offs and landings, which would separate in flight. It all may sound insane but the engineering works.
Minimally, test aircraft should have been built 50 years ago.

I can show the basic design if anybody is interested:

YouTube/drochmhada/The f-35 is useless. (1 short or 4 long videos)
Where is the video?
 

Combat Medic

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F-35B jet crashes in South Carolina
https://www.cnn.com/profiles/ryan-browne

US military's most expensive jet crashes 00:32
Washington (CNN)A US Marine Corps F-35B crashed Friday in Beaufort County, South Carolina, near Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort, a US military official told CNN.
The pilot ejected safely and is being evaluated for injury, according to the official.
While the jet has experienced mishaps in the past, a US defense official told CNN that this is the first time an F-35 has crashed.
The Marines confirmed the incident later on Friday in a statement, saying the "pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel. There were no civilian injuries,"


The statement said that the jet belonged to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
"The cause of the crash is under investigation," it added.
The F-35B joint strike fighter conducted its first-ever airstrike on Thursday.

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.
Earlier on Friday the Pentagon announced a new contract for the next batch of F-35 aircraft, saying that the plane's contractor, Lockheed Martin had agreed to a reduced price.
The announced per-unit price tag for the Marine Corps F-35B was $115.5 million.
The F-35B is the only version of the aircraft that is able to land vertically like a helicopter. It can also take off in a much shorter space than other fighter jets.
The new contract means the price for the Air Force's variant of the jet, the F-35A, fell below $90 million for the first time.
 

NightWolf

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The most costly or not, lot's of faults or not it doesn't matter - F-35 is bought and it will be bought by other countries. Considering all these, Belgium is the 13th country, which is joining the F-35 programm. The overall price of the 34 fighters procument is 4 bln. euro.
 

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The most costly or not, lot's of faults or not it doesn't matter - F-35 is bought and it will be bought by other countries. Considering all these, Belgium is the 13th country, which is joining the F-35 programm. The overall price of the 34 fighters procument is 4 bln. euro.
If I understand correctly, a faulty fighter jet is ok!
 

NightWolf

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If I understand correctly, a faulty fighter jet is ok!
The idea is that though so many people are now talking about this all the time and everywhere, the programm itself develops and joining more and more countries. For sure, according to the latest investigations practically more than 1000 problems were revealed, but at the same time it's definitely clear, that F-35 is not a washing machine - it's a highly sophisticated solution. As every sophisticated solution it needs time for debbugging.
 

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Japan has officially decided to buy vertical takeoff F-35B Lightning II. According to the open sources, the government has decided to procure the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft wich coulb be opearted from a modified Izumo class ship and Island bases. Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun previously reported that the government may buy up to 40 F-35B vertical takeoff stealth fighters from the US that could operate from helicopter carrires, island bases and commercial airports. The F-35B can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways at major bases.
 

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Japanese F-35 Lightning II Stealth Aircraft Reported Missing Over The Pacific Ocean
April 9, 2019 David Cenciotti Aviation Safety / Air Crashes 0 Comments

File photo of a Japanese AIr Self Defense Force F-35 (Image credit: Lockheed Martin).The aircraft has disappeared at around 19.27LT. The status of the aircraft and its pilot is unknown.
According to several Japanese media outlets, an F-35A Lightning II belonging to the Japan Air Self Defense Force is currently reported as missing during a mission over the Pacific Ocean.

The F-35 launched from Misawa Air Base, in Aomori Prefecture, in the norther part of the country. Misawa is the home of the 302 Hikotai (Squadron), the unit previously operating the F-4EJ “Kai”, that has officially moved to Misawa air base to operate the JASDF F-35A 5th generation aircraft after retiring its last Phatom on Mar. 26, 2019.

According to the JASDF, the aircraft had taken off from about 7 minutes, as part of a 4-ship formation, when it disappered on Apr. 9, at 7:27PM LT on the Pacific Ocean about 135 km east of Misawa.

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force search and rescue vessels have been dispatched to the area where the aircraft disappeared.

If confirmed, the Japanese loss would be the second involving the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters. The first one occurred on September 28, 2018 when a U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II crashed near Beaufort, South Carolina. The pilot ejected safely. As a consequence of that mishap, almost all the F-35s were shortly grounded on Thursday, October 12, 2018 for safety inspections of their fuel flow systems.

Japan’s program of record is 147 aircraft says the official Lockheed Martin website. “In December 2018, the Japan Ministry of Defense announced its decision to increase its procurement of F-35s from 42 to 147. They stated the aircraft will be a mix of 105 F-35As and 42 F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft.”

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

We will update the story as new details emerge.

Japanese F-35 Lightning II Stealth Aircraft Reported Missing Over The Pacific Ocean
 

Khafee

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Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean (Updated)
Japan's first operational F-35 squadron was stood up just days ago at Misawa Air Base, the same base the F-35 in question supposedly launched from.
By Tyler Rogoway
April 9, 2019


Details remain extremely limited at this time, but there are reports from Japanese media outlets stating that one of the Japan Air Self Defense Force's F-35As has gone missing during an evening training mission off Northern Japan. A search effort is supposedly now underway.

Reports state that the F-35 went missing at around 7:30pm local time on the 9th of April, 2019. The aircraft had taken off from Misawa Air Base and was around 85 miles east of that location, over the Pacific Ocean, when it disappeared from Japan's tracking systems.


That's what we have as of now and keep in mind that these are media reports, not official statements. So, these details could change dramatically in the coming hours.

Let's hope they do.

Japan just stood up its first operational F-35A squadron days ago at Misawa Air Base and is currently the largest foreign customer for the aircraft with an inventory of 147 of the jets planned. As it sits now, Japan's orders will include 42 F-35Bs for its Izumo class carriers. The rest will be F-35As.

For a number of reasons, the F-35A represents a huge capability boost for the JASDF.


JASDF


There has only been one in-flight loss of an F-35, that aircraft was an F-35B that crashed near MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina in September of last year.

We will update this piece as more details come available.
Update: 5:45am PDT—
Japan Times has confirmed that the jet went missing with the Defense Ministry, stating:
"The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that an Air Self-Defense Force F-35A fighter disappeared from radar over the Pacific Ocean.
The fighter jet vanished from radar east of Aomori Prefecture at 7:27 p.m., the ministry said, adding that it is still confirming the details."
Update: 6:30am PDT—
The F-35 was part of a four-ship flight that departed Misawa around the same time and were training in the area together. There is still no word as to the status of the pilot.
There are some vessels in the area that could be assisting in the search and rescue efforts:
@cencio4 @CombatAir @Aviation_Intel @Rotorfocus
3 Japanese Navy ships are in the scene
1 Coast Guard is going to the area also pic.twitter.com/7PM5LlVxOW
— Juanma Baiutti (@juanmab) April 9, 2019
Update: 8:00am PDT—
Nothing new to report aside from the fact that Japan has halted all F-35 flights for the time being, but here are some thoughts I just posted on Twitter that I think should be shared here as well:
"If one of Japan’s F-35s is sitting at the bottom of the Pacific, we are probably about to see one of the biggest underwater espionage and counter-espionage ops since the Cold War. If it was operating without its radar reflectors pinpointing where it went in may be an issue.
If it was data linked via MADL [the F-35's proprietary low-probability of intercept data-linl] with other F-35s, their data could help a lot in finding it. I have no clue how the black box works on this jet, anyone have info on if it pings? If it’s really deep that could be a vulnerability. Expect ASW [anti-submarine warfare] umbrella in crash area."
If it was data linked via MADL with other F-35s, their data could help a lot in finding it. I have no clue how the black box works on this jet, anyone have info on if it pings? If it’s really deep that could be a vulnerability. Expect ASW umbrella in crash area. 2/2
— Tyler Rogoway (@Aviation_Intel) April 9, 2019
Also, some have asked about the possibility of defection. We have zero info that would point to such a thing happening and it would be less plausible if the F-35 was wearing its radar deflectors. So, at this point, it is possible albeit highly improbable. Such an event would have huge geopolitical ramifications, as well, which may far outweigh the strategic benefit of being able to invasively examine an F-35.

Also, so much of the program's intellectual property was stolen by the Chinese that acquiring the real thing may not be as extensively valued as some would think. It would still be a huge intelligence and technological coup, but would it offset the negative repercussions that would come from it? The F-35's F135 engine would most likely be the most valuable component for Beijing. Russia would probably be a different case as they lag behind China in stealth technology and we have not heard that they pilfered the program's secrets via cyber espionage operations like China did. Also, the geopolitical situation between the U.S. and Russia is a bit different than the one between the U.S. and China.


 

Khafee

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Massive search underway after Japanese F-35A goes missing over the Pacific
April 10, 2019

zoom
Illustration. Photo: JASDF

An international search is underway in the Pacific Ocean for a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A fighter jet, which disappeared from radar at around 7:30pm local time on April 9.

The F-35A lost radar contact approximately 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base.

Media reports quoting Japanese military officials say parts of the stealth fighter have been located but the pilot is still missing.
“We have collected parts from the jet fighter’s tail fin so we believe it crashed,” Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya was quoted as saying.
The US Navy has confirmed that a P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and a guided-missile destroyer are assisting Japanese-led search and rescue efforts for the pilot. The navy added that another guided-missile destroyer, the USS Stethem (DDG 63), was headed for the search area.

AIS data suggests Japan Maritime Self Defense Force involved in the search and rescue effort include destroyers and research vessels. US Navy submarine USS Annapolis (SSN-760) is apparently also present in the area.

View image on Twitter
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter


Manu Gómez@GDarkconrad


Summarizing at this moment #Japan #F35 SAR operation:
Japanese destroyer Hatakaze
Japanese destroyer Ikazuchi
SEISUI MARU Research/Survey Vessel
KAIMEI RESEARCH/SURVEY VESSEL
USS Annapolis (SSN-760)
HAKUHO MARU Research/Survey
Destroyer DD 154 JDS Amagiri
163
10:12 PM - Apr 9, 2019

The plane that went missing was reportedly the first F-35A assembled locally by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
This is the second F-35 crash since the jet started flying two decades ago, according to Reuters.
Japan has grounded the remaining fleet 12 F-35A in response to the crash on Tuesday.

Massive search underway after Japanese F-35A goes missing over the Pacific
 

Khafee

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APRIL 10, 2019
Officials find debris from F-35 off Japan; pilot still missing
By
Nicholas Sakelaris



A formation of F-35As from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings fly over the Utah Test and Training Range during a combat power exercise on November 19, 2018. File Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee

April 10 (UPI) -- Japanese authorities said Wednesday they've found some wreckage from an F-35 stealth fighter jet that disappeared this week.
The plane was found in the Pacific Ocean hours after it went missing Tuesday, officials said. The Japanese pilot is still missing.

Authorities said part of the tail was found about 80 miles offshore from the Air Self-Defense Force's Misawa Air Base in Aomore.
The F-35 was flying in a formation with three other aircraft when it crashed about 85 miles off shore. The pilot had logged 3,200 hours of flight time, including 60 hours on the F-35. He has not yet been identified.

RELATED Japanese F-35 disappears over Pacific Ocean

Just before the crash, the pilot told ground controllers he would break away from the exercise. The U.S. Navy is assisting with the search with patrol aircraft and a missile destroyer.

The Japanese have suspended all F-35A flights at Misawa Air Base until further notice.

The crash raises questions about the safety of the most advanced fighter ever built. More than 300 F-35s have so far been delivered worldwide. Tuesday's is the second to crash -- after a U.S. Marine Corps jet crashed in South Carolina last September. That crash temporarily grounded the F-35.
RELATED Britain to deploy F-35Bs for first time, sending them to Cyprus air base

Peter Layton, a former Australian Air Force officer and analyst at Griffith Asia Institute, said the problem could lie with the Japanese assembly line.

"There are several hundred F-35s flying, suggesting a local not fleet-wide problem," Layton said. "The pilot appears to have thought he was in command and not in imminent danger."

The plane that crashed was an F-35A -- one of three variants offered by Lockheed Martin.

Officials find debris from F-35 off Japan; pilot still missing
 

Khafee

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Japan Grounds Fleet of F-35As After Fighter Jet Disappears in Mid-Air - Reports
09.04.2019

Japan has 13 operational F-35s, with nearly 150 more on order. The planes are based with the 302nd Squadron at the Misawa Air Base in Aomori, northern Japan.

A Japan Air Self-Defence Force spokesman has confirmed to Sputnik that one of its F-35s has gone missing with one pilot said to be on board. "It disappeared from radars," the spokesman said, adding that a search for the plane is underway.

Earlier, Japanese national broadcaster NHK reported that an air force F-35A disappeared from radar screens during a routine training flight.
According to the military, ground control lost contact with the plane at around 7:27 pm on Tuesday, about 135 km northeast of Misawa city, during training. The plane is believed to have one pilot onboard.

F-35

CC0
SECRET F-35 Tech Will Be Compromised Should Turkey Buy S-400, US Media Claims

Over a dozen Maritime Self-Defence Force patrol aircraft and escort vessels are engaged in a search operation, NHK said, with the local Coast Guard also deploying two patrol vessels to help in the search.

Ten F-35As were delivered to the Misawa Air Base last last year.

All JASDF F-35As Grounded
Later Tuesday, Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said that the air force would suspend flights of its remaining F-35As for the time being following the plane's disappearance, Kyodo has reported.

Tokyo ordered a total of 42 F-35As in late 2011, with the existing order updated to include 63 more F-35As and 42 F-35Bs by late 2018, with Japan becoming the second-largest buyer of Lockheed Martin's fifth generation stealth fighter.

Last September, the US military grounded its entire fleet of F-35s in the wake of a Marine Corps F-35 crash in South Carolina. That incident followed reports in late 2017 that a US F-35 deployed in Okinawa, Japan lost part of its fuselage in mid-air during a routine training mission.

A British Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (R) and a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft perform a fly-past during the Farnborough Airshow, south west of London, on July 17, 2018

© AFP 2019 / BEN STANSALL
UK Set to Deploy F-35s Just 250 km Off Syria's Coast

The F-35 program is one of the most expensive defence projects in history, with a projected total cost of $1.5 trillion over its 55 year lifespan. In addition to cost (currently ranging from $89.2-$115.5 million apiece), the plane has been criticised for a plethora of glitches and design flaws which continue to plague it over four years after its introduction with the US military in 2015. Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has reportedly described the plane as "f***ed up," with President Donald Trump repeatedly criticising it as an example of Pentagon waste on the campaign trail.

Last month, a US defence spending watchdog complained that the new F-35s for the US Navy were nowhere near operational status, emphasizing that the plane was "not ready to face current or future threats" and could put US military personnel's lives at risk.

Japan Grounds Fleet of F-35As After Fighter Jet Disappears in Mid-Air - Reports
 

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Japanese Military Found F-35 Debris, Pilot Still Missing - Reports
© AP Photo / Gemunu Amarasinghe
10.04.2019

An F-35A stealth fighter belonging to the Japan Air Self-Defence Force's (JASDF) fleet reportedly disappeared from radars on Tuesday, 135 kilometers (84 miles) east of the Misawa Air Base located in the country's northern Aomori prefecture.

The JASDF said Wednesday it has found what could be debris from the missing fighter jet, according to broadcaster NHK.

The Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) spokesman told Reuters Wednesday that the pilot of the aircraft, however, is still missing. "We recovered the wreckage and determined it was from the F-35", the spokesman told Reuters. The F-35 was less than a year old and was delivered to the ASDF in May last year, he added, cited by Reuters.

The incident took place during a training flight involving four F-35A fighters. One pilot was on board of the missing aircraft. The missing jet was reportedly the first F-35A assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries facility in Nagoya.

READ MORE: Polish Defence Minister Hopes to Speed Up Talks on Purchasing US F-35 Jets

Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya announced Tuesday that Tokyo would ground the JASDF's whole fleet of F-35A stealth fighters in the wake of the incident.

In December, Japan announced its plans to buy an additional 105 F-35 aircraft to supplement its originally planned force of 42 F-35 jets, with the additional order's cost estimated to exceed 1 trillion yen (nearly $8.9 billion). The anticipated purchase makes Japan the largest international buyer of F-35 aircraft.

Su-35 super maneuverable multirole fighter

CC BY-SA 2.0 / DMITRY TEREKHOV / IMG_8624
Moscow, Ankara to Benefit if Turkey Buys Russian Fighter Jets Instead of F-35 - Political Strategist

Last August, the nonprofit Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said that senior officials developing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the US armed forces — the most expensive military program of all time — are covering up dangerous flaws in the plane instead of fixing them. In particular, the Center for Defense Information at POGO obtained a document showing how F-35 officials were re-categorizing rather than fixing major design flaws to be able to claim they had completed the program’s development phase without having to pay overruns for badly needed fixes.

Moreover, a report on the F-35 last year from the US Government Accountability Office showed that the aircraft still had 111 Category One deficiencies that may cause death, severe injury, loss or major damage and that critically restricted the combat readiness capabilities of armed forces using the aircraft, POGO noted.

Japanese Military Found F-35 Debris, Pilot Still Missing - Reports
 

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US Media Mull 'Nightmare Scenario' of Russia, China Finding Japanese F-35 Debris
© REUTERS / Mandatory credit Kyodo
10.04.2019

Japan's Air Self-Defence Force confirmed early Wednesday that they had found what appear to be debris from the Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jet that went missing on Tuesday during a routine training flight.

Leading US and international defence analysts are sweating bullets pondering the consequences of US strategic adversaries Russia and China getting their hands on components from the lost Japanese F-35 fighter.

Tyler Rogoway, a military aviation expert at The War Zone, speculated that the F-35 search may prove to be "one of the biggest underwater espionage and counter-espionage ops since the Cold War," given that the crash was the first opportunity for America's opponents to get their hands on a piece of the product of the US' $1.5 trillion warplane programme.

Tom Moore, military commentator and former staff member at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, echoed Rogoway's sentiment, warning that "there is no price too high in this world for China and Russia to pay to get Japan's missing F-35, if they can."

Japanese navy officers stand on the deck of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's vessel docked at Thilawa port, Myanmar.

© AP PHOTO / GEMUNU AMARASINGHE
Japanese Military Found F-35 Debris, Pilot Still Missing - Reports

Speaking to Fox News, former Italian Air Force pilot David Cenciotti offered a more muted assessment, saying that the scope of the threat depends "on what is recovered, when it is recovered and, above all, in which conditions, after impacting the surface of the water."

The expert noted that while Russia and China might have a hard time trying to reverse engineer the plane, "there are still lots of interesting parts that could be studied to get some interesting details: a particular onboard sensor or something that can't be seen from the outside but could be gathered by putting your hands on chunks of the aircraft intakes or exhaust section, on the radar reflectors, etc."

A Japan Coast Guard vessel and a U.S. military aircraft conduct rescue and search operations at the site where an Air Self-Defense Force's F-35A stealth fighter jet crashed during an exercise on April 9, 2019, off Aomori prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 10, 2019

© REUTERS / MANDATORY CREDIT KYODO

A Japan Coast Guard vessel and a U.S. military aircraft conduct rescue and search operations at the site where an Air Self-Defense Force's F-35A stealth fighter jet crashed during an exercise on April 9, 2019, off Aomori prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 10, 2019
Justin Bronk, a military aviation expert at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based security think tank, agreed.

"The usefulness for Russia or China of recovering some or all of the wreckage would depend on how much damage the aircraft sustained upon hitting the water. The general shape of the jet is well-known, as are its performance characteristics, so not much to gain there, but parts of radar and other sensors would be prime targets for recovery and testing, [and] even attempts at reverse engineering," Bronk said, speaking to Business Insider.

Others were more sceptical. Patrick W. Watson, a geopolitics and economic analyst at Mauldin Economics, tweeted that it was "only a matter of time" before an F-35 fell into Chinese or Russian hands. "Maybe would have been better not to bet so much on one system. Though, not nearly so profitable," he bitterly wrote.

Ankit Panda, a defence analyst and senior editor at The Diplomat, tweetedthat while "the 'China and Russia will find the missing Japanese F-35 first' angle is a good techno-thriller plot point," the reality was that Japanese and US Navy anti-submarine warfare assets in the Sea of Japan were "much better positioned to locate the fighter first."

Rogoway challenged Panda's scepticism.

Other users joined in to add their two cents, with some commentators more serious than others.


US Media Mull 'Nightmare Scenario' of Russia, China Finding Japanese F-35 Debris
 

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F-35A crash: Japan’s defense minister addresses security concerns, procurement plans
By: Mike Yeo
7 hours ago
12 Apr 2019


A Japanese Coast Guard vessel and a U.S. military plane search for a Japanese fighter jet, in the waters off Aomori, northern Japan, on April 10, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)

A Japanese Coast Guard vessel and a U.S. military plane search for a Japanese fighter jet, in the waters off Aomori, northern Japan, on April 10, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has started combing the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean for the wreckage of its F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, two days after the aircraft crashedinto waters off northern Japan.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, addressing the media on Friday morning Tokyo time, said the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has deployed a submarine rescue vessel to search the depths in the area where the F-35A crashed. The area is estimated to be about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) deep.

The pilot of the crashed F-35, who the Japan Air Self-Defense Force identified as 41-year-old Maj. Akinori Hosomi, is still missing. He was taking part in an air combat training mission with three other F-35s on Tuesday evening when the pilot and aircraft lost contact with other members of the flight and disappeared from radar approximately 85 miles (135 kilometers) east of Misawa Air Base in the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

The Misawa-based aircraft disappeared soon after Hosomi — who had 3,200 flight hours under his belt that included 60 on the F-35A — told the other pilots taking part to end the training portion of the flight. No other communication was subsequently heard from him, and none of the other pilots saw the aircraft crash.

The disappearance of the aircraft triggered a large search operation by ships and aircraft belonging to the Japanese self-defense forces. According to the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet, the destroyer Stethem and several P-8A Poseidon multimission aircraft also took part in the search. Some wreckage from the F-35 was subsequently sighted in the water, which confirmed the fate of the missing jet.

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force helicopter hovers around the sea area where a Japanese fighter jet is believed to have crashed. (Kyodo News via AP)

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force helicopter hovers around the sea area where a Japanese fighter jet is believed to have crashed. (Kyodo News via AP)

Iwaya also confirmed that there is no intention to revise Japan’s procurement of more F-35s pending the results of an investigation into the crash, which is the second-ever involving an F-35. An F-35B belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps had crashed in South Carolina in September 2018, the cause of which is still under investigation.

Japan plans to acquire a total of 147 F-35s, split into 105 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variants and 42 F-35Bs, which are conducting short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing operations.

The minister was asked about the possibility of China or Russia attempting to salvage the crashed F-35 from the seafloor given the highly classified nature of the technology onboard the stealth jet. He said no unusual activity had been observed at the crash site, although Japanese forces are continuing to monitor the situation.

F-35A crash: Japan’s defense minister addresses security concerns, procurement plans
 

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APRIL 17, 2019
Japan's F-35As had 7 emergency landings before crash
By Danielle Haynes



The first F-35A frame constructed in Japan, pictured, crashed into the Pacific Ocean April 9. File Photo courtesy of Japan's Ministry of Defense

April 17 (UPI) -- In the months before Japan's first F-35A stealth fighter jets crashed in the Pacific Ocean, the country's air force made seven emergency landings of the aircraft, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said.

The Japanese air force began using its fleet of 13 F-35As in January, and on April 9, the first plane off Mitsubishi's assembly line crashed off northern Japan.

Speaking during a news conference Tuesday, Iwaya said the seven precautionary landings each happened before the end of February. Of those landings, seven involved aircraft assembled in Japan and one assembled in the United States. The plane that crashed made two of the emergency landings.

Iwaya said a pilot made one landing in response to a cooling system warning light and another pilot made a landing due to a navigation system problem.

"The technology on board the F-35 is highly classified," Iwaya said. "With cooperation from the U.S., we would like to take the initiative in thoroughly investigating the causes while gaining cooperation from the United States."

Though the Japanese coast guard and U.S. Forces Japan suspended their search for the missing pilot from the April 9 crash, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force search was underway.

"Though U.S. search and rescue efforts have ended, we will continue to coordinate with our Japanese partners on efforts to locate and recovery the missing aircraft," U.S. Air Force Col. John Hutcheson told Stars and Stripes.

Japan grounded its fleet of 13 F-35As in the wake of the crash.

Japan's F-35As had 7 emergency landings before crash
 

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