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Britain, the United States and NATO officials said Monday that they hoped to find the wreckage of the hijacked fighter jet “F-35B” that crashed in the Mediterranean last Wednesday in front of their enemy Russia.
The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has crashed into the sea. Before it could fall, its leader was able to jump out of it, and he survived.
Following the crash, NATO expressed fears that it might find a warplane and get its hands on sophisticated technology that would differentiate it.
But General Simon Doren, a senior U.S. official aboard the British aircraft carrier, promised Monday: “First we will get it back, I guarantee you.”
In turn, Gen. Tim Radford, deputy commander-in-chief of Allied forces in Europe, reassured reporters in a carrier traveling in the Mediterranean that “we are not worried about retrieving it.”
“We are not worried because we are working at this time. There was concern when the plane crashed, but the pilot is fine, that is the most important thing,” he added, refusing to release details of the pilot’s rescue operation. .
For his part, Major Steve Morehouse, commanding one of the nine warships involved in the search for the plane, said the F-35 crash was “truly an unfortunate accident (…) a setback”.
However, the commander stressed at the same time that “the lifespan of this aircraft and our confidence in it and the plan have not been shaken.”
To date, the United Kingdom has received 21 U.S. F-35B fighter jets, most of which operate the British aircraft carriers “Queen Elizabeth” and the “Prince of Wales”.
The F-35 is a fifth generation fighter aircraft, especially characterized by vertical landing capability and short takeoff capability.
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