(PatriotWise.com)- Last week a US Navy stealth fighter jet had a “landing mishap” while attempting to land on an aircraft carrier in the South China sea that left seven sailors, including the pilot, injured.
According to a statement from the Navy’s Seventh Fleet, on Monday, January 25 during routine flight operations, the F-35C hit the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson and subsequently slid into the water. The pilot was able to eject safely and was recovered by helicopter.
Of the sailors injured in the incident, four were treated aboard the Carl Vinson while the other three, including the pilot, were med-evac’d to a facility in Manila where they were listed in stable condition.
The USS Carl Vinson Strike Group was involved in a high-profile naval exercise along with the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group, the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group, the USS America Amphibious Ready Group, and a Japanese Maritime self-defense helicopter carrier.
The damage to the Carl Vinson’s deck was superficial and flight operations were quickly resumed.
On Monday, the Navy Times reported that over the weekend, the Japanese Coast Guard had issued a navigation warning that a salvage operation was underway roughly 185 miles west of the Philippines and 350 miles east of the man-made islands Beijing built in the Paracels.
The Seventh Fleet said the Navy is “making recovery operations arrangements” to salvage the jet, however, officials from the Seventh Fleet declined to confirm whether the Japanese Coast Guard alert had anything to do with those recovery efforts.
Given China’s interest in obtaining US military technology both to steal for themselves and to learn to defeat it, losing the Navy’s latest and most high-tech stealth fighter jet is considered a “non-starter.”
However, according to China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, China has no interest in recovering the F-35C.
Last Thursday, Zhao advised the US to “contribute more to regional peace and stability” instead of “flexing force at every turn” in the South China Sea.