A British F-35 from HMS Queen Elizabeth has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, the pilot has ejected safely.

The incident occurred at 10:00 UK time this morning.

The Ministry of Defence said:

“A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning. 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.”

It is understood that no hostile action has been suggested by any party, this is the first such incident involving the loss of a jet from a British aircraft carrier in some time.

A number of British and American F-35 jets are based on HMS Queen Elizabeth. The aircraft carrier and her strike group are on the return leg of a global deployment.

British Carrier Strike Group transiting Suez Canal

 

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Steve M
Steve M
9 days ago

Glad Pilot got out ok, going to need more planes!

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

These things are already factored in. 48 are on the order for the initial batch. The overall long term order will be many more than that. Losses such as this are part of the game, no matter how technologically advanced the aircraft is. The most important thing is that the Pilot was picked up and returned to the ship.

Gonefishing
Gonefishing
8 days ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

It looks like “around 60 and maybe up to 80” (72 plus a few spares?) F-35Bs will be purchased. Of the originally desired 138 F-35s, it’s possible the remaining airframes will be the A variant for exclusive RAF use, but it seems much more likely from all the reporting that they will be cancelled. Either way, the numbers make for limited capability compared to what was long envisaged. With six squadrons, the UK could deploy respectable numbers for planned carrier operations and have a credible surge capacity if it is needed. But that would require their almost exclusive use for… Read more »

Pete
Pete
8 days ago
Reply to  Gonefishing

Indeed GF…and what lots of people forget, or are simply too young to be aware, was that the original 138 number was to largely replace @400 airframes which, when F35 decision was made, were then in inventory in latest upgrade version ( or in progress). 51 x Shar2, 143 x Harrier 2 GR9, 44 x Jaguar GR3 and 142 x Tornado GR4. You can add to that about 64 front line upgraded F3s plus spares. …call it 500 fast jets excluding Hawks and excluding reconnaissance versions, to be replaced by 138 F35 and @230 Typhoon I’m a huge fan of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Morning Pete. I share the sentiment on overall numbers and how far they have fallen. I don’t recognise the figure of 143 Harrier GR9 though. I recall it was about 60 GR5 and with upgrades and extra purchases rose to around 90 aircraft. There were, after all, only ever 3 front line squadrons of the type, 1, 3, and 4 Sqns. The Tornado GR4 force was to be replaced by the FOAS, not F35s. 250 Typhoon were originally meant to replace the Phantoms and the last of the Jaguars with the Cold War still with us, but ended up replacing… Read more »

Pete
Pete
8 days ago

Hey Daniel. Yep thanks.. my confusion. was reading the total number of GR 5/7/9 built was 143 but i assume that number included overseas sales I can see the US bought 72 GR9 from the MoD and that there were about @ a dozen GR7 / 9 losses for the RAF from the very late 1990 till retirement. 200 in the current climate has to be the goal in a relatively short timescale. Technological advantage is one thing but the PRC will shortly bring a critical mass that will exhaust any technological advantage very quickly….and..the speed at which the technology… Read more »

Ian
Ian
8 days ago
Reply to  Gonefishing

But the intent was presumably to order them in batches over quite a few years? In that case the later orders may have to be considered in the context of evolving 6th generation requirements and the development of unmanned systems that weren’t clearly envisaged at the time of the original decision to get involved in the F35 programme.

Gonefishing
Gonefishing
7 days ago
Reply to  Ian

The intention, even a few years ago, was that 138 F-35Bs would be procured in batches up to the “mid-2030s”. Call me a cynic, but I am struggling to believe that Tempest orders will be increased over what they otherwise would have been to make up the shortfall (even if that would be an appropriate procurement strategy, which I am not sure it is all things considered).

Ron
Ron
8 days ago
Reply to  Gonefishing

Hi GF, please don’t get muddled up with operational aircraft and aircraft bought over the life span of the program. The carriers will need F35Bs for up to 50 years, with as you said 60-80 needed operationally in the next 10 years. In the end that would mean about 140 needed over the life span of the carriers. My issue is different we need about 140 F35s operational, that means about 250 aircraft over the 50 year period. With the breakdown of 80 for the FAA and 60 for the RAF. The FAA numbers are tight if we had both… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron

The F-35A is Not really a deep strike aircraft.
Unless the RAF is to use F-35A’s as a backup fighter?
If the RAF needs a deep strike aircraft, the B21 is the one to go for!

Last edited 8 days ago by Meirion x
Andrew D
Andrew D
8 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Now that would be nice 😀

Gonefishing
Gonefishing
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron, The original plan called for up to 150 STOVL JSF to replace the UK’s Harriers. I think most knew that upper limit was an aspiration and it was unlikely to be realised, but it represented a like-for-like replacement of the UK’s Harrier IIs and Sea Harrier FA2s with a good lifetime reserve. As time went on the number to be ordered settled around 138 total, but this still represented a decent figure. At a “neat” 12-aircraft squadron, it would have been possible to have eight operational sqaudrons (or equivalent) and an OCU and still be able to absorb… Read more »

George Parker
George Parker
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Absolutely Steve. Pilots are as rare as airframes and more valuable. A symptom of decades of neglect. Thank the gods he was OK. Need more planes is an understatement. 200 F35’s of all variants would hardly be enough for our current and future needs. 80 is simply pathetic. If the Chinese communists attack the true Chinese people on Taiwan, as they say they will. The far east will explode. India, Australia South Korea, Japan and others. Will be begging for our assistance and as things stand, we can barely field a carrier group. Have thing ever been so bad. If… Read more »

Graham Lee
Graham Lee
9 days ago

The only good news is that the pilot was recovered and returned to QE. I hope the pilot is ok. Non combat ‘accidents’ are a fact of life but reinforce the folly of having such a small air wing. Imagine trying to sustain combat losses.

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Lee

Exactly. More would be shot down in a major combat, 44 is nowhere near enough jets…

At least the pilot is safe. First crash for RN but US have had their share of things going wrong with F-35 .

Last edited 8 days ago by ERNEST HARRISON
Pacman27
Pacman27
9 days ago

Hopefully the pilot is safe, and I assume we will recover the aircraft or the main bits we can, it’s timing is unfortunate, but these things happen..

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Someone is going to have to stay over it. Can’t have any nosy buggers snapping it up.

Quill
Quill
8 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Especially the Russian ‘trawlers’ for once they’ll actually be trying to fish something up

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
9 days ago

Oh dear. Not great news at all. We have so few F35Bs in service that the loss of a single aircraft really damages uk carrier strike disproportionately. This is the folly of having no attritional reserve and exquisite kit but not enough of it.
Very glad the pilot is ok.

Jay R
Jay R
8 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

This will have no influence in procurement at all. Losses like this will be factored in at the onset. Thankfully the pilot is safe and well. But it makes you wonder what the cause was….it seems like bird strike????

Graham
Graham
8 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It is said that we are buying 60 to 80 F35s in total, rather than the 135. Will that be enough?

Chris rebel
Chris rebel
9 days ago

Unfortunately common in naval aviation, especially STOVL. The harrier had accidents all the time.

Stings more at 100m per airplane.

Last edited 9 days ago by Chris rebel
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago
Reply to  Chris rebel

Hi Chris,

Just read an article on this same story over on Navy Lookout and they implied that the cost of the F35B had come down recently to about £88m. I’m not sure that is the correct figure from other stuff I have read (possibly conflated with the cost of another variant), but overall I believe the cost per airframe has come down significantly over the last couple of years.

However, it still ‘stings’ as you say.

Cheers CR

Malcolm Rich
Malcolm Rich
9 days ago

I love the fact that the advert at the bottom of my page is “warbirds at affordable prices” with a picture of a WWII vintage aircraft…..spooky

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Rich

I got a ChicMe add for womens clothes, wife’s been shopping.

Rob
Rob
9 days ago

Oh dear, there goes £92 million, glad the pilot is OK. Attrition rates, even in peace time ops, means that we need c72 aircraft for 48 (ie 4 squadrons) of aircraft as well as T&E & OCU.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Once you fly it off the salesmans lot the value immediately drops 50%

😀

Last edited 8 days ago by Watcherzero
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree, Rob – 72 aircraft seems about right for four squadrons and an OCU.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
9 days ago

Perhaps a little early to speculate but it may also illustrate the considerable advantage of twin engined naval aircraft.

Marked
Marked
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

So true. There’s a reason why historically single engine jets were not considered for naval flying.

James Fennell
James Fennell
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Electrical fault in the wiring harness apparantly, so not really relevant.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Still prefer my Navy birds with 2 motors 😀

Esteban
Esteban
8 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

You have no idea what really happened. The investigation will take months.

James Fennell
James Fennell
8 days ago
Reply to  Esteban

I read it on twitter so it must be true. Datalinks and systems’ monitoring mean they probably know more the ins-and-outs of this before the investigation takes place.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

@James

It would be worrying if anyone with access to real time flight info was leaking that kind of data.

Still it might be an official leak! Leak is one of those irregular verbs.

I leak;
You gives confidential press briefings;
He has been charged under section 3a of the Official Secrets Act…..

I think I got the quote right.

Marked
Marked
9 days ago

First thing is great news the pilot got out!

But there goes nearly 10 percent of the deployed force!

A perfect illustration of the folly of relying on so few numbers to sustain a high tempo of operations.

Put these things and their very fragile and fallible human pilots into the strain of combat and there will be losses. Accidents, breakdowns, mistakes will all take their toll.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Marked

True but this version is still very much under ‘development’ production is slow and upgrades esp software numerous with the potential for expensive physical work to bring your aircraft up to the latest capabilities and able to integrate weapons. Hardly ideal and I hope Tempest isn’t going to be quite so bad in this regard (if technology is moving on) but makes for very difficult decisions more units now means less or more expensive units and upgrades later. Not defending any of this just trying to think out loud really and consider the complexities. You can see why even the… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
9 days ago

Ouch, glad pilot got out ok, big C126 for someone!!!!

James Fennell
James Fennell
9 days ago

Glad the pilot is ok. All part of fast jet flying. If we don’t use ’em we don’ loose ’em, but also no point in having them.

Last edited 9 days ago by James Fennell
Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Loose? More like lose!

Loose bowel movement for the poor chap flying it maybe! I’m glad the pilot’s okay.

James Fennell
James Fennell
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Let loose maybe?

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hah, maybe!

I do agree mate, such a thing is all part of fast jet operations as well as naval operations.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Well at least they know that the recovery system seems to work for real which is a relief, esp if the event took place soon after launch.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago

Ties all round!

Glad to hear the pilot is ok thanks to Martin Baker.

It will be very interesting to find out what caused the crash? So many possibilities including batch number and flight hours on the earlier models.

👍🇬🇧

“The US16E Ejection Seat provides an unprecedented balanced optimisation between key performance parameters such as safe terrain clearance limits, physiological loading limits, pilot boarding mass and anthropometric accommodation ranges to fully meet the F-35 Escape System requirements. The US16E will be common to all F-35 aircraft variants.”

https://martin-baker.com/products/mk16-ejection-seat-f-35/

eject16e.jpg
Kjell
Kjell
9 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The F-35B has a automatic ejection mode hopefully it wasn’t at fault.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago
Reply to  Kjell

Very much so, the pilot will be able to pass on some very useful information initially which will help to identify the possible cause of the crash.

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Martin Baker tie incoming!

Kjell
Kjell
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

A funny story about a Swedish pilot, Stefan Kaarle, that was ejected out of a Gripen C by a faulty Martin-Baker seat is that when he applied for membership in Martin-Baker Tie association. 

But as he hadn’t fulfilled the requirement that he had not actively pulled the handle he couldn’t get the certificate but the rest of the stuff as it was the faulty seat that did shoot him out. But he did apply some years later and was then approved.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago
Reply to  Kjell

That’s certainly an interesting one. I’m glad he survived and eventually received his certificate!

Last edited 8 days ago by Lusty
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

An interesting read from the pilots who have survived thanks to Martin baker.

EJECTION STORIES

“No matter the decade, aircraft or air force, each and every one of the Club’s members have an incredible and heartwarming story to tell – we’re lucky enough to host a collection below.”

https://martin-baker.com/ejection-tie-club/

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks for the link, Nigel.

Steve M
Steve M
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Safe pilot 👍 He will be gutted his landing now don’t equal take-offs in his log book 😟

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Bet it still hurt though.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

12-30G in the first second, I bet it did!

“Bremont Watch Company and Martin-Baker have collaborated to design and build the ultimate aviation watch that will embody all that is meant by ‘Made in Britain’. The Bremont MB1 / MB2 watch has successfully endured 12-30G throughout the first second of ejection. These are the first watches to ever go through a live ejection seat testing programme.”

https://martin-baker.com/merchandise/bremont-watch/

Last edited 8 days ago by Nigel Collins
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I will wait for the MB5 version myself, now that might just be the best traditional watch ever made if history repeats itself.

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago

Such an occurrence was inevitable. It would have been remarkable if we went 50 years without losing an airframe from our carriers, but such things are bound to happen. I can imagine a lot of us didn’t imagine it happening at this stage, though! My thoughts go to the pilot and other individuals on the deployment. It’s a bloody horrible feeling when an aircraft is lost and I can imagine what the pilot’s colleagues went through back on the ship. A special shout-out two whoever fished him out of the water – it’s exactly what SAR crews train for. I’m… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Lusty
geoffi
geoffi
9 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I would have hoped for later than first deployment following IOC…

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
9 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

And collect a lovely new Bremont watch from Martin Baker !

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Yes, although I can’t say I’m overly envious!

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Me neither but I suppose it`s talking point in the bar.

maurice10
maurice10
9 days ago

The RN will need to salvage the wreck as many will be interested in retrieving it for their on interests?? I’m glad the pilot is safe.

Tams
Tams
8 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Thankfully it’s in the Mediterranean, so it’s close, the US are around and Italy with their interest may help keep cheeky buggers from trying to get a peek.

Not that the Chinese probably haven’t got the plans already or anything, but always best to be on the safe side. No Iranian tankers randomly stopping there!

Donaldson
Donaldson
8 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Ben Wallace confirmed it will be recovered.

geoffi
geoffi
9 days ago

Glad the pilot is OK.

48 now looking very small…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  geoffi

Numbers are irrelevant at this stage though, as we only have 24.
The 48 will increase to 60 plus, hopefully at least 70.

Esteban
Esteban
8 days ago

Had 24.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Esteban

Yes, realised as soon as I wrote that!

Duh!

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

You could still argue we have 24… just that one’s now the submarine variant.

It’s one way of upping sub numbers I guess. 😉

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

You beat me to it. Thunderbirds are go.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Nice one Lusty. I hope there’s someone or something on sub-watch 24/7 down over the plane. Wonder it will be a complete write off after being submerged. Maybe they can salvage some spare parts from it?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin,

Salt water – no chance. Even a short immersion will write everything electronic off. Plus it probably hit the sea at 100 plus knots so I recon most of the metal work will be a tad out of shape.

Comes down to trust, I wouldn’t trust any spares from a crashed plane on any aircraft I was piloting (I used to fly – PPL).

Cheers CR

Lusty
Lusty
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

See Chariot’s reply, but most likely not. They’ll probably go over it and see what might be useful, but in reality, it’ll never fly again. I have a feeling it would become a very large and very useful training airframe for ground use – the RN/RAF will learn a lot from this regarding the causes of accidents at sea and the impacts (literally!) they’ll have on airframes, particularly one at this. Cosford and Sultan specialise in teaching people the art of repairing damage and an F35 would provide a great tool. That’s hypothetical of course – impacts with the sea… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
8 days ago

23 now

Esteban
Esteban
9 days ago

Well that certainly wasn’t part of the PR campaign. Glad the pilot made it. Naval aviation is a risky business.

Challenger
Challenger
9 days ago

Oh crap! Great that the pilot is safe but such a shame it’s happened on the CSG’s inaugural deployment.

A seriously expensive loss as well!

Graham von hesketh
Graham von hesketh
8 days ago

I have never flown an F-35B but I have flown the sim many times. There are a lot of things to go wrong and the last thing a pilot wants to do is eject unled he is about to die. Sad indeed for a 100 million dollar jet but I hope they manage to recover it from the seabed. The med is jolly deep in places.

Grant
Grant
8 days ago

Less than 100 front line typhoons and 24 front line F35Bs is a paper thin force… especially when you factor in how much the typhoons have been used over the last decade….

Paul42
Paul42
8 days ago
Reply to  Grant

How many Tuphhons do we actually have in service? I thought it was more than 100??

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

I thought it was something like 90 with 24 more tranche 1 in warm storage.

Paul42
Paul42
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

As of April 2021 the RAF had 119 of 157 Typhoons delivered in active service. The original plan was to purchase in excess of 200, but of course as per usual we never go the distance!!

julian1
julian1
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

With 15 or so 2-seaters going through RTP, as far as I know there should be cerca 140 single seaters, some of which will be in deep maintenance/reserve. That number will drop with retirement of T1s. so that figure of 119 looks about right but it could drop to around 100

Grant
Grant
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

5 x frontline squadors, 2 x QRA and 1x joint qatar plus 4 in the falklands would be 100 front line. Then the OCU and any in storage

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Grant

There are 7 at present. A bit of a fiddle on the RAFs part as they formed those number plates to replace the 3 GR4 squadrons cut to keep the magic 8 number, while keeping the same number of aircraft.

So numbers cut, but squadron numbers remain.

CAS is looking at 9 eventually I believe.

Grant
Grant
8 days ago

Cheers for the clarification…… will that be 7 typhoon + 2 F35 ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Grant

Yes, I believe so.

As the F35 fleet increases ( to the oft mentioned and hoped for 4 squadrons) then Typhoon squadrons may reduce to 5.

How Tempest affects things it’s too early to say.

Fast Jet Squadrons numbers are ridiculously low to what they once were.

Grant
Grant
8 days ago

especially as the politicians love using the kit.

Tempest so far away. I keep thinking it should be ‘easy’: the F35 is superb with the exceptions of internal weapons load and persistence….. a two engine F35 without the ‘B’ variant fat (think the Chinese J-20, but with world class RR engines and stealth that works)

Problem is bigger is more expensive (see Type 83s as well) so quantity of everything will only go one way….

Paul42
Paul42
8 days ago
Reply to  Grant

Tempest is another British pipe dream which may never actually come to anything after billions will have been wasted that could have been actively used to boost our armed forces instead of crippling them. We never learn!

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago

It looks like the 40 T3’s were to replace the GR4’s. Yes when all the T1’s go, you are left with only 107 T2/3’s.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion x
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
7 days ago
Reply to  Grant

Think less of the numbers, but of the capability and affect these aircraft can provide. 1 Typhoon can do the job of 3 Tornados.

Steve M
Steve M
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

But lose 1 Typhoon then it has huge impact on capability, lose 1 Tornado only 33% drop and you can still fight, having aircraft that can theoretically beat 10/20 opponents is fine but when they only carry 8 missiles!! only takes 1 hit and enemy have control

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

He who has the best situational awareness, wins the fight, regardless of how many weapons you carry. F35 & Typhoon bring outstanding capability, and can enhance the capability of 4th gen platforms. It would be great to have large numbers of both, but we can only do so much within the confines of our defence budget. So we have gone for capability over numbers. When you look at Typhoon with Meteor, the ranges it can launch weapons at extreme altitude, and the energy it can put in those weapons from supersonic speeds means the bad guys are going to have… Read more »

Grant
Grant
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Typhoon may equal 3 x Tornado and LO means you need fewer aircraft to hit a target (SEAD, Decoys etc), but potential enemies aren’t standing still either. Factor in improvement and proliferation of high end SAMs and its clear the numbers we have would not be enough…. Importantly though the big investments (infra, training) have been made, so incremental increases in this kit from there means each airframe / ship you add is cheaper. Thats why what we are doing is so silly: if you have paid the R&D for 8 T26, the next 5 are half price; same goes… Read more »

Jay R
Jay R
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Explain that please in more detail? They seem similar (same range, same weapons load, same gun).

Stc
Stc
8 days ago

Comments on numbers are justified, wait to see if replacement is genuinely made. Still pilot ok😁

Ian
Ian
8 days ago

This is a problem with small numbers…. Loose a wedgetail 33% of fleet lost ……. Loose a Poseidon 10% of fleet lost ….
Loose an aircraft carrier 50% of the fleet
Scary…..Ian….

Marked
Marked
8 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Try tightening them up then so they aren’t loose.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago

The pilot safe is the best news.

My first thought was where in the med and what is salvageable given the sensitivity of the aircraft.

I remember the concern when the Japanese A? variant was lost.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

At the risk of assuming, but HMS Scott has been operating out of Gibraltar for a little while now. One wonders if she might be rapidly deployed East to aid in mapping the seabed to aid in recovery efforts.

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Wont they just locate it and then destroy it in situ with some strategically placed charges? Far cheaper and just as effective I would have thought, its not that its ever going to fly again!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Morning Deep.

The “Stealth Blackhawk” was destroyed on site by the US military in the Bin Laden raid, but enough bits survived, like the tail rotor.

Could pieces still be of use to an adversary to determine their composition wrt the stealth even though now in seawater? Or maybe that’s long been busted by the Russians and the electrics are more useful?

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago

Morning Daniele, I have absolutely no idea mate, I suspect it largely depends on what anyone was looking for. Both Rus and PRC have their own stealth jets, perhaps it’s engine technology or the like that they would be after? Got to be easier ways of acquiring that info though!
The water gets very deep very quickly North of Egypt, so if said pilot ejected far enough out, then it’s probably a bit of a mess scattered across the seabed. They have to find it first, not sure how long the ‘black box’ transmits for to help them?

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Hey, both. It’s probably too early to say. The main priority is to ensure that the pilot is okay and continues to be supported over the coming days. Not only will he be in shock, but he’s probably going to be down in the dumps over losing an expensive and arguably precious asset for the CSG and how it will affect the group in terms of media coverage. Attention will then turn to the aircraft (by the sounds of it, it already has). They’ll obviously talk to the pilot, Flyco, WAFUs, and anyone else who might have information to determine… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

A nice summary mate.
What’s a WAFU?
I know about Flyco but not Wafu.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Navy speak, mate.

Fishheads refer to the FAA as WAFUs (Wet and F’ing Useless – that’s the polite version). Obviously, the F35s are operated under a joint force, but there’s going to be some crossover and any additional information (flight deck crew, the FOD patrol, mechanics, other pilots) will prove vital.

Last edited 8 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Ta.

😆

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

I don’t think the Territorials will be much use!

(It’s not even Friday yet! 😂)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

😆 it is soon. Go for it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Just seen a Tweet about HMS QE and another escort going in circles over a certain spot south of Crete. Speculation the wreckage may be there or flight ops.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Yeah, I saw that too mate. Possible I guess, but the fact is we won’t know! It might be regular flight ops or perhaps some of the escorts playing silly buggers with their AIS. 😉

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I have been involved in 2 serious pans, one was as the weapon party and one as FDO.
The inquiry is to say the least, detailed!
In my case nobody was killed or injured but one of those incidents, when the tail rotor boom almost detached from the Lynx when it landed would have taken out all of us, flight, Air Weapons supply and some goofers. We all got very lucky that day.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

With all the maintenance records being electronic it will be difficult for the SMR to lose the maintenance log book!
Its the First thing that gets impounded just in case it accidentally gets dropped over the side!
Hopefully no sharp pencil clear conscience was involved.

Paul T
Paul T
8 days ago

Full Recovery is the best option, as you say the Stealth Blackhawk wasn’t completely destroyed, plus you would need as much of the Airframe as possible to investigate and determine what actually went wrong if the Pilot cannot provide enough information.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago

Hi Daniele, Modern forensic techniques when applied to crash investigation can pretty much tell you everything you need to know about what happened to the aircraft – and what it is made of. I remember years ago Airfix came up with a pretty good representation (I think) of the F22 before any pictures were released. USAF was not impressed and assumed a leak. Turned out that Airfix had asked a bunch of experts what they thought the plane looked like given what was already in the public domain and they pretty much got it right, much to the embarressment of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Cheers mate.

Donaldson
Donaldson
8 days ago

Between Cyprus and Egypt from what I’ve read on Twitter.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Hmmm, close to the Russians and Syria.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago

Not to mention the Turks cruise that area, I’m sure they would love to get the F35 after all.

Graham von hesketh
Graham von hesketh
8 days ago

The design originates from the Russian Yak 38. The Russians stopped funding for it and Lockheed got interested in the design. It pitches quite badly at low altitude and so I would not recommend more than 5 to 600 knots. However will go much faster at high altitude.

geoffi
geoffi
8 days ago

Is this the first “B” model
to be lost ?

Wondering if we now face a precautionary grounding…

geoffi
geoffi
8 days ago
Reply to  geoffi

OK, Wiki says this is the third F-35B loss, the other two were USMC.

Joe16
Joe16
8 days ago
Reply to  geoffi

No, the USMC have already crashed a couple. One for a faulty fuel tube and the other a mishap during air to air refueling.

Hermes
Hermes
8 days ago

Dont worry, Dassault and Airbus are on the way.
To help our US “friends” to protect their knowledges.

Hihihi

It’s a joke but… I imagine Turks and Russian to be really on the way.

Last edited 8 days ago by Hermes
Jake
Jake
8 days ago

Is the RN capable of salvaging it on their own or will they need to call in some help?

Chris rebel
Chris rebel
8 days ago
Reply to  Jake

They will use a contractor. While the F-35 is a big aircraft, its a relatively small object for naval salvage. There are dozens of operators in Italy/Greece/Spain that could do it.

Keeping Russian ‘fishing trawlers’ away in international waters will be the difficulty. One of the type-23’s deployments probably just got longer.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Chris rebel

Wonder if it’s stealth will be a factor in finding it 😎

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s okay – the professionals from RAF Luton have been called in to help. 😉

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
7 days ago
Reply to  Jake

The latest news is that they have requested help from the US Navy, as they have specialist salvage equipment based in Spain. No doubt, the RN will have ships in the area to deter any “unfriendly” vessels from loitering near the crash site.

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
8 days ago

The pilot is safe and thats the important thing right now From a global fleet of over 500 F35 airframes flying since 2007 there have been 4 flight crashes: 2USMC F35Bs, one JASDF F35A (due to pilot disorientation while night flying) and now todays RAF/RN F35B. AFAIK there have also been 2 ground losses of USAF F35As due to fires . TBH the F35 is reliable and has a very good safety record which validates the decision to go for single-engined design over a twin. Operating any kind of fast jet is inherently dangerous and when you also factor in… Read more »

Ron
Ron
8 days ago

Until we know what went wrong its all going to be guess work. I would like to know if the aircraft would have been recoverable if either a. we had traps and b. a crash barrier.

Jon
Jon
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Surely if it was just a matter of landing, the plane could have diverted to an airstrip in a nearby friendly country.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Jon

👍

Connor
Connor
8 days ago

This is inevitable, especially with a single engine jet at sea.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Connor

Not really justified given the comparison between F-35 accident rates and that of twin engined naval aircraft.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
8 days ago

Room for a warranty claim??

Jason Hartley
Jason Hartley
8 days ago

Thank god the pilot was ok , the plane can be replaced but the person cannot . Just hope they carry on flying and doing us proud .

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
8 days ago

Watch as the Med is all of a sudden swarming with Chinese ‘trawlers’

Simon Lees
Simon Lees
8 days ago

At least the pilot will get a nice Bremont watch courtesy of Martin Baker for testing out their ejection seat.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
8 days ago
Reply to  Simon Lees

I think you get a swanky tie too! Silver linings and all that

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 days ago

the carriers with no aircraft just got one worse

Max Jones
Max Jones
8 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Well that makes me feel a bit better about it. The carriers with no aircraft suddenly have 17 F-35Bs on board. It’s not 18, but this discovery must be great news for all the people with their hopes set low already.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Max Jones

Yes I’m sure those who claim I guess they have no aircraft will be the first to trumpet how having aircraft is failing too. Gotta love a flip flop for political expediency.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
8 days ago

How would u go about getting the aircraft back from the sea bed? A big magnet, get an rov to hook a line on it, drag a big net and hope u catch it?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Wonder where that Russian SOV is?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
8 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Send an ROV down. Attach lines and haul away. Flt Bags are also an option.
Reports are saying it hit hard so its likely to be in quite a few pieces which actually makes recovery easier as the winches and cranes etc dont need to be as big.

Meirion x
Meirion x
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

So it’s looks like, that one would be useful as a gate guardian!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago

Defence Secretary has told the BBC it came down soon after takeoff.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Flying operations are continuing from the carrier, and no word of temporally grounding the fleet. Could have been human error or a bird strike. Glad he is safe and sound.

Oleg Olkha
Oleg Olkha
8 days ago

In the area is the main flyway. Аnything is possible…

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
8 days ago

The jockey can pay the taxpayer back – £10 a week from his wages.

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

And the first born if each generation, That should only take about a thousand generations to pay it back. Takes the burden on the next generation to a whole new level.

Andrew D
Andrew D
8 days ago

Great that the pilot is save,now it’s a race against time to salvage the F35 before the Russians get to it .let’s hope there Navigate as had to much Vodka 😴

Max Jones
Max Jones
8 days ago

Fuck

I would say it’s better than Kuznetsov’s record (2/12 jets lost in a deployment) but that’s a shit standard.

Desmond Moloney
Desmond Moloney
8 days ago

Another caterpillar. This incident might actually help to underscore the woefully inadequate airwing and strengthen the hand of the 1SL within the MOD when F-35b numbers are discussed.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
8 days ago

As long as the Pilot is safe, its just material (although expensive), I imagine the Chinese are scrambling recovery ships to try and get to the wreckage!

John Clark
John Clark
8 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

As said, as long as the pilot is ok. First loss for QE2, so he will be remembered!

Re the aircraft, it’s a tremendously complex aircraft with many moving parts, especially in the hover.

I wonder if it failed with the lift fan engaged?

On the subject of fleet losses, I’m always amazed that no-one mentions the incredibly low loss rate for Typhoon, it’s had an amazing safety record since the first aircraft joined the RAF in 2003.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
8 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

If only the ‘phoon had come into service way earlier as planned, might have had a much better sales record

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Or if they had given it ground attack capabilities earlier, but of course unlike others the producing countries had a specialist in that role in the Tornado. The Typhoons potential was blunted at every turn by the participants delaying or unable to agree on almost anything the radar being but the most obvious. It’s amazing really that such a great plane came out of it eventually but as you say those delays have proven crucial to sales finally gaining its full potential capabilities (or at least close to) too late once the F35 and other 5th Gen alternatives and indeed… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
8 days ago

Glad pilot is safe. It’s a dangerous job.

geoff
geoff
8 days ago

Good Morning Everyone. You guys have said it all-the main thing is the pilot is safe, these incidents occur with all types and air forces world wide, and the small number in service is a cause for concern

Andrew
Andrew
8 days ago

Glad the pilot is safe…. Wonder if the MOD had third party, fire and theft or fully comp insurance! 😛

Liam
Liam
8 days ago

These planes worry me. That whole lift fan system seems so complicated and awkward.

Meirion x
Meirion x
8 days ago
Reply to  Liam

So were the swirling nozzles of the Harrier aircraft. All modern jet engines are now complicated.

Paul T
Paul T
8 days ago
Reply to  Liam

The Lift Fan System is undoubtedly complicated, and adds extra weight to the F35B ,also bringing more potential points of failure but that is the price you have to pay for having STOVL Capability,its a far cry from what was used in the Harrier,Design,Engineering and Production standards have improved massively since then.I wouldn’t be surprised if this crash had absoulutely nothing to do with the Lift Fan.

Jay R
Jay R
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

It is better to stop and land, than land and stop. That is the doctrine of british naval aviation. The f35b lift system is actual quite simple. Proably weighs less than a fa18 landing gear.

Jacko
Jacko
6 days ago
Shraga
Shraga
6 days ago

engine was the problem!

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
5 days ago

Instead of going to all that trouble of salvaging the thing why don’t RN get thier very capable divers to go down and place lots of charges and blow the hole thing to smithereens. If the Ruskies want it that badly it would take them an age to hoover the bits up. I’m pretty sure Putin and his boys have already got the blue prints of the f35. Which let’s face it by all the tech speak going around the bazaars will soon be old hat, drones and hypersonic missles are the way forward with the odd Ray gun thrown… Read more »