잔해물 실종 日 F-35A 전투기 기체로 확인: 일본 항공자위대
Japanese authorities have confirmed that the wreckage found in the Pacific Ocean Tuesday is the F-35 fighter jet that went missing on the same day.
It is the second F-35 to crash in the two-decades it has been flying.
Our Defense Ministry correspondent, Kim Ji-yeon tells us more.
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force confirmed Wednesday the wreckage and debris found in the Pacific Ocean belongs to a missing Japanese F-35 stealth fighter jet, one of the world's most advanced warplanes.
Search teams recovered parts of the jet... which crashed some 30 minutes after it took-off during a training mission Tuesday evening.
The pilot of the missing aircraft is still missing.
Japanese defense officials said the single-engine jet was on a training flight with other F-35s when contact was lost.
The jets, based at Misawa Air Base were about 135 kilometers off the east coast of Aomori Prefecture when the jet in question's pilot signaled a need to abort the mission... shortly before radar contact was lost.
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force said it decided to hold off all operations and local production of the F-35s... and instead have them directly sent from the U.S.
The Japanese government had planned to acquire a total of 105 F-35 stealth fighter jets... but local media outlets in Japan say that following this incident, that plan could be changed.
The crashed aircraft was manufactured by the U.S-based Lockheed Martin... and was the first assembled by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
F-35s have been deployed to Japan since January last year... a total of 12 remain.
Meanwhile, Korea's Air Force said it plans to stay on course to acquire a total of 40 F-35s by 2021... having already received two last month.
It said the United States Pacific Command has not sent out a suspension recommendation.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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Date Added: 2019-04-12
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