Japanese F35A fighter jet disappears over the sea off Aomori
- 09 April 2019
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force says an F35A fighter jet disappeared from radar over the sea off Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, on Tuesday, ONAreports citing NHK World.
ASDF officials said the aircraft took off from Misawa air base at around 7:00 p.m., and disappeared at a point about 135 kilometers east of Misawa City.
The officials said Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft and vessels have begun a search mission.
They said the missing F35A was supposed to carry out a training mission with three other jets of the same type.
The Coast Guard says it will dispatch two patrol ships to look for the jet.
The F35A is a conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, and is the smallest and lightest of the Lockheed Martin series of multi-role fighters.
Japan is one of the world's biggest buyers for the fifth-generation stealth fighter. However, the F35 aircraft has been plagued with problems; last September, the US military grounded half of its entire fleet of F35s following a crash in South Carolina. The previous year, a US F35 deployed in Japan lost part of its fuselage mid-flight during a routine training mission.