The Chinese Air Force also has pirate fighter jets. However, the F-35 could provide China with a wealth of advanced technology if it could capture the crashed fighter jet first. The F-35, the successor to the F-16, and better known in the Netherlands as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is the most expensive weapons program in the United States at a cost of 360 billion euros.
The F-35 crashed into the deck of the carrier USS Carl Vinson after the patrol plane landed on Monday. The 103 million euro plane crashed into the sea. The fighter pilot was able to move safely with his exhaust seat just in time. The pilot and 6 crew members on board the aircraft were injured. The site was damaged, but Carl Vinson was able to resume flying operations shortly thereafter.
The aircraft carrier was then in the South China Sea, a strategic sea area that covers most of world trade. The United States, Britain and other allies regularly visit naval vessels in the region to make it clear to Beijing that China’s claims over the South China Sea have not been recognized.
As a warning, the United States took the USS Abraham Lincoln, the second aircraft carrier with Carl Vinson. The previous day, two aircraft carriers, along with their submarines, had shown themselves with Japanese warships in the nearby Philippine Sea. Vice Admiral Carl Thomas of the US Seventh Fleet tweeted with photos of ships lined up side by side.
Thomas must now, in a race against time, arrange a rescue operation to recover the crashed F-35. The Navy announced on Tuesday that arrangements were already being made for this. A naval spokesman declined to comment on reports that China would also try to find a high-tech device: “We can not guess what the intentions of the People’s Republic of China will be.”
The fear of a Chinese search is not unfounded. After a hack by American manufacturer Lockheed Martin in 2007, Chinese hackers were able to get their hands on designs for the development of the F-35. This information could have been used for the development of China’s stealth fighter jet, the J – 20.
It has been reported for years that China has seized the wreckage of another US hijacker, the F-117. The device, which is difficult to detect on radar due to piracy technology, was shot down by Serbia in 1999 during the Kosovo war, shocking the United States.
Do not look well
Carl Schuster, a former director of the U.S. Pacific Command’s intelligence center, warned on Monday that Beijing would not closely monitor the U.S. search for the fallen F-35. “China will use submarines and one of its submarines to locate and investigate the F-35, which can operate at greater depths,” Schuster said. CNN⁇
When a British F-35 crashed in the Mediterranean in November last year, British and American fears that Russian naval vessels would hamper recovery. The F-35 was finally released from the sea by the British with the help of the Americans a month later. The two F-35s that crashed were versions designed to land on naval vessels.
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