EXCLUSIVE – A credible source, wishing to remain unnamed, has confirmed that an arrest has been made in connection with the leaked footage of an F-35 crashing on take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
A male member of crew has been arrested and has now been flown back to the UK.
“I have had it confirmed that the arrested male is a member of HMS Queen Elizabeth ships company.”
I have contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment and will update this article if/when I get it.
Earlier in the month, footage emerged showing an F-35 jet crashing into the sea on takeoff from aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The video was, of course, recorded surreptitiously and disseminated outwith the ship without permission.
The source also told me:
“I’ve been told by someone ashore in the U.K. the arrest was made and then had it confirmed by HMS Queen Elizabeth ships company.”
Details remain sketchy at this time and given this could potentially impact someone’s career, the UK Defence Journal will be refraining from publishing any names or rumoured charges.
It has also emerged that the mobile phone video of the crash was well known onboard before or hit social media.
Britain and America are currently engaged in operations to salvage an F-35B which ditched into the ocean after taking off from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
It is understood that while the point at which the jet entered the sea is known, the aircraft’s wings would have made it glide underwater for a reasonable distance before settling on the sea bed.
National Security Adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove told the Commons Defence Committee yesterday:
“The pilot was recovered safely and is still undergoing medical checks. We are hopefully that he will be absolutely fine. It would be premature of me to comment on the reasons for the accident. The recovery of the flight data recorder and the wreckage are really vital for an accurate investigation to determine the causes of the crash. Clearly the swift recovery of the aircraft is what we would like to do and we are working closely with allies on the mechanics of that. We haven’t got the plane up yet.
We are aware of Russian undersea capabilities, and you are quite right to identify them as being state of the art. The kinds of precautions and operations that we are undertaking at the moment are designed at least in part to ensure that the technology of the F-35B remains as confidential as you would like it to be. Those security aspects are very much at the top of our mind. My understanding is that the experts know where the aircraft is.”
What caused the crash?
We don’t know, anyone claiming to know in the public domain doesn’t really know either.