Footage ‘shows £100m fighter jet crashing’ off Royal Navy carrier

·2-min read
Footage ‘shows £100m fighter jet crashing’ off Royal Navy carrier

Dramatic footage has emerged of what appears to be a UK F-35 fighter jet crashing into the sea.

The footage shows a pilot ejecting into the water after the £100m aircraft failed to properly launch off the Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed earlier in November that a F-35 stealth jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a routine flying operation.

The video, which appears to be taken from a surveillance camera on the carrier, shows the fighter jet approaching a ramp for lift-off - only to slow down and crash.

As the plane falls into the sea, a parachute is seen cascading from the sky.

The MoD had previously said an investigation is ongoing into the cause of the crash.

“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,” said a spokesperson earlier this month.

A MoD spokesman told the Standard: “We are aware of a video circulating online. It is too soon to comment on the potential causes of this incident.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth (PA Archive)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (PA Archive)

Efforts are still ongoing to recover the jet, while a probe could now be opened into how the footage became public.

It has been reported that investigators fear a cause of the crash could have been a rain cover left on the plane which was then sucked into the jet’s engine. This has not been officially confirmed.

Developers Lockheed Martin calls the F-35 the “most advanced fighter jet in the world”.

Ministers said at the time of purchase that Britain’s F-35 jets would be a “national statement of our intent to protect ourselves.”

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