On Jan. 24, 2022, U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II crashes while landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea. The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft.
Seven other sailors aboard the ship were injured and the fate of the aircraft was unknown. Recently the leaked image online allegedly shows that F-35C fell into the sea.
The shot was probably taken moments before the F-35C aircraft started to sink into the waters of the South China Sea.
The U.S. Navy plans to recover the F-35C in order to prevent China or Russia from putting their hands on sensitive parts of the precious 5th generation aircraft.
The service has yet to provide any other additional details about the incident.
The Navy said the cause of the “inflight mishap” was under investigation.
The crash occurred while the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Strike Group was involved in a high-profile naval exercise with the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group, the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group, the USS America Amphibious Ready Group, and a Japanese Maritime Self Defense helicopter carrier.
The participation of so many air capable and amphibious U.S. Navy ships operating together in the South China Sea highlights the U.S. Navy’s capabilities in a region where China continues to make maritime territorial claims.