The US and Japanese military are ruling out the possibility that China will find the lost F-35A Lightning II aircraft from Japan before its own search groups.
“The Japanese have the leadership there, and we are working very collaboratively with them,” Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Friday. “And we have a potential if what they have is not enough.”
When asked if he was worried that China might get to the crash site first, Shanahan said, “No, I’m not.”
The F-35, which belonged to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, crashed in the Pacific Ocean off northern Japan on April 9. The pilot was flying with three other F-35s when he lost contact and disappeared from the radar about 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base.
Not long after the F-35 disappeared, it was speculated if Chinese or Russian assets were looking for the secret plane and if they could defeat the US. UU and Japan at the scene of the accident.
“We have no such possibility, absolutely none,” Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said through an interpreter during a visit with his US counterpart. “We are conducting surveillance and warning activities so that we can identify and find the lost plane.”
The defense minister of Japan was asked about the possibility that China or Russia might try to find the F-35 on the sea floor, among other issues related to the Joint Strike Fighter.
The area in which the F-35A crashed is estimated to be approximately 5,000 feet deep. The Maritime Self-Defense Force of Japan has deployed a rescue submarine, among other vessels, to search the area.
“This is a very important plane, so we would like to locate the plane as soon as possible and rescue it,” Iwaya said Friday. “Japan will lead the investigation, but we hope and it is also essential to have the support of EE. UU so, while we do it, we would like to find the main cause of the accident. “
China and Russia are developing rival aircraft for the F-35. Revealing the secrets of fifth-generation poaching could be a stroke of luck for the adversaries of the US military.
The appropriation of the technology of the lost military assets is not something out of the possible, as it indicates Task & Purpose . In the early 1970s, the CIA spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to recover a sunken Soviet submarine that the Kremlin had not been able to rescue in 1968, according to declassified CIA documents .
The submarine broke during the recovery operation, which took place at a depth of 16,000 feet, but EE. UU He managed to recover two nuclear tip torpedoes and some underwater manuals without the Soviets noticing, NPR reported .
Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers Jr. said Thursday that the main search effort in the United States has ended, “however, we will continue to coordinate with our Japanese partners in efforts to locate and recover the lost plane.”
On April 10, 2019, a ship of the Japanese Coast Guard and a US military aircraft. UU They are looking for a Japanese F-35A in the waters off northern Japan. (Kyodo News via AP)
The incident has not shaken the faith of the US and Japanese military in the F-35 program, he said.
“I know. The US and all the F-35 partners remain totally committed to protecting all the capabilities and technology of the F-35, “added Summers. “Our thoughts are still with the family, friends and colleagues of the missing pilot.”
The destroyer of the United States Navy Stethem and several P-8A Poseidon aircraft participated in the search along with the Self-Defense Forces of Japan, according to Defense News .
Some remains of the F-35 were found in the sea; however, the pilot was not recovered and most of the aircraft still lies beneath the waves.
The cause of the accident is unknown. It is the second shock of an F-35. The US Marine Corps UU He lost an F-35B in South Carolina near the Beaufort Air Station of the Marine Corps. The pilot was ejected safely during that incident.
“The department has full faith and confidence in the F-35 program,” Summers said. “The 276 F-35 of the USA. UU continue flying, including the F-35A of the US Air Force. UU in the area of responsibility of the Central Command of the USA. UU. “
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