British F-35B fighter jet crashes in the Mediterranean

© Crown copyright 2021

A British F-35B fighter jet, operating off the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, crashed in the Mediterranean. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft in time and was later recovered.

“A British F-35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” the press office of the British Ministry of Defence said. ”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.”

The F-35B was recently inducted in the arsenal of the Royal Air Force and Navy. The stealth fighter jets operating from the HMS Queen Elizabeth belong to the Number 617 Squadron, a joint squadron composed of personnel from both the Royal Air Force and Navy, which is the first of the British military to be equipped with the Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin aircraft. 

On October 13, 2019, F-35B fighter jets of the Squadron landed on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for the first time.


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