A British F-35 jet flying from the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier has crashed into the Mediterranean after the pilot ejected safely.
“A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” said a Ministry of Defence spokesman on Wednesday.
“The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.” No hostile action is thought to have been involved, he said.
The £100-million jet is thought to be in the sea and has yet to be recovered.
Eight British F35 jets are on the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is returning to the UK after more than seven months deployment that has taken it through the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and back.
In an incident this year, the British destroyer HMS Defender ventured three kilometers into the Russian territory, off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent in the Black Sea. The move prompted a Russian border guard patrol ship to fire warning shots and a Sukhoi-24M bomber to drop bombs ahead of the destroyer.
Following the warning maneuvers, the HMS Defender left the waters, but warned London not to make any further provocative actions in the region.