Seven sailors on board the USS Carl Vinson are injured after a $94 million F-35C fighter jet suffers a ‘landing mishap’ on the deck
- The USS Carl Vinson on Monday suffered a ‘landing mishap’ with a F-35 warplane
- The ship is currently in the South China Sea, taking part in exercises
- The pilot of the F-35 ejected safely and was rescued by helicopter
- The status of the $94 million fighter jet was unclear
- Seven were injured: three required evacuation to a medical facility in Manila
Seven U.S. military personnel were hurt on Monday when an F-35C warplane had a ‘landing mishap’ on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea and the pilot ejected, the U.S Navy said.
A Navy statement said the incident happened during ‘routine flight operations’ in the South China Sea.
The status of the $94 million fighter jet was unclear.
‘The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter,’ it said.
‘The pilot is in stable condition. There were seven total sailors injured.’
The statement said three of personnel required evacuation to a medical facility in Manila and four were treated by on-board the carrier and released.
It said all the personnel evacuated were assessed as being in stable condition.
The USS Carl Vinson is seen with the USS Essex behind in a January 2022 picture
Sailors taxi an F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the ‘Argonauts’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on January 22
The Navy said the cause of the ‘inflight mishap’ on the nuclear-powered carrier was under investigation.
‘The status of the aircraft is currently under investigation as are the factors involved in the mishap,’ Brenda Way, a spokesperson for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told The War Zone.
The F-35 jet is made by Lockheed Martin, and the USS Carl Vinson in August deployed from its San Diego base for the first time with F-35C Lightning II fighter jets and Navy CMV-22B Osprey aboard.
The F-35C is the carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter being built in three versions for the Air Force, Marines and Navy.
The Navy version can fly 1.6 times the speed of sound and has a combat radius of 600 nautical miles.
‘Vinson is the first carrier to accommodate a mix of 4th- and 5th- generation strike fighters, providing unprecedented lethality and survivability and ensuring the Navy team can operate and win in contested battlespace now and well into the future,’ said Capt. Tommy Locke, commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, in August.
An F-35C Lightning II test aircraft approaches for a landing aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower of the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, in 2015
The aircraft carriers were in the Philippine Sea, which lays east (to the right) of Taiwan and west of the US territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
The Pentagon said two U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups, led by the Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln, began operations in the South China Sea on Sunday.
The carriers entered the disputed sea for training as Taiwan reported a new Chinese air force incursion at the top of the waterway.
The Carl Vinson is supported by more than 5,000 crew members and carries 65 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.
This is only the second major mishap involving an F-35 of any kind operating from an aircraft carrier.
A British F-35B Joint Strike Fighter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in November during a failed takeoff attempt from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The pilot successfully ejected in that incident and the plane was recovered.
US beefs up military presence near Taiwan after Chinese buzzes air space
Taiwan said 13 Chinese planes flew into the country’s air space and it reported 39 Chinese air force planes in the space Sunday.
The South China Sea and Taiwan are sources of tension between the United States and China. The US Navy began operations with an increased presence in the South China Sea on Saturday.
Carl Vinson strike group:
Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson
Carrier Air Wing 2
Cruiser USS Lake Champlain
Destroyer USS Stockdale
Destroyer USS Chafee
Replenishment ship USNS Yukon
Dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers
Abraham Lincoln strike group:
Aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln
Carrier Air Wing 9
Cruiser USS Mobile Bay
Destroyer USS Fitzgerald
Destroyer USS Gridley
Destroyer USS Sampson (now heading to Tonga to assist in relief efforts following the underwater volcano eruption)
Destroyer USS Spruance
Two US amphibious assault ships