British F-35 Jet Crashes into Mediterranean Sea

A British F-35 fighter jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a routine operation, prompting an investigation, the Ministry of Defense announced on Nov. 17.

“A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” the Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.

“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,” the Ministry added.

The investigation is expected to take several weeks before an initial report is produced. A final report takes about a year to complete.

Efforts are underway to retrieve the wreckage.

The jet crashed at about 10 a.m. local time and no other aircraft were involved, according to defense sources.

This was the first accident involving a Royal Air Force F-35B, but previous accidents have occurred involving the fighter jets in the past three years.

The fighter jet cost £100 million ($134 million).

The crash could raise concerns on the safety of other F-35B jets used by other countries.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the jet came down shortly after it took off, but also said that other operational and training flights continued despite the incident.

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