An F-35C Lightning II has crashed while landing on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in the South China Sea on Monday. As per US Pacific Fleet,
Seven sailors are also injured in this incident along with Pilot. The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter.
Crashed F-35C Lighting II was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and it was conducting routine flights when this accident happened.
US Pacific Fleet didn’t reveal the condition of the F-35C aircraft and whether the USS Carl Vinson sustained any physical damage.
US Pacific Fleet also released a press document stating that “F-35C crashes on USS Carl Vinson.” The US Navy said that the cause of the “inflight mishap is under investigation”.
According to the Naval Institute news website, the latest incident occurred as the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group were conducting a military exercise in the disputed South China Sea.
In the South China Sea, the US has been conducting naval exercises and freedom of navigation operations in an effort to counter China’s rising maritime activity in seas that Beijing claims nearly entirely.
China’s operations in the South China Sea, particularly its “historic claims” to the critical commerce route, the US stated earlier this month, “gravely undermine the rule of law” in the ocean and universally-recognized international law principles.
While the repeated crash incidents of F-35 have raised questions on the long-term performance of fighter jets. Earlier, the South Korean F-35 crashed due to malfunctioning of its landing gear. Similarly, the British F-35 also crashed after taking off from Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The recent incidents of such crashes are worrisome as many US allies are interested in the purchase.