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Thread: Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean

    Crashed or now sitting on a runway in Vladivostok/China?

    Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean

    Japan's first operational F-35 squadron was stood up just days ago at Misawa Air Base, the same base the F-35 in question supposedly launched from

    April 9, 2019

    Details remain extremely limited at this time, but there are reports from Japanese media outlets stating that one of the Japan Air Self Defense Force's F-35As has gone missing during an evening training mission off Northern Japan. A search effort is supposedly now underway.

    Reports state that the F-35 went missing at around 7:30pm local time on the 9th of April, 2019. The aircraft had taken off from Misawa Air Base and was around 85 miles east of that location, over the Pacific Ocean, when it disappeared from Japan's tracking systems.

    That's what we have as of now and keep in mind that these are media reports, not official statements. So, these details could change dramatically in the coming hours.
    Let's hope they do.

    Japan just stood up its first operational F-35A squadron days ago at Misawa Air Base and is currently the largest foreign customer for the aircraft with an inventory of 147 of the jets planned. As it sits now, Japan's orders will include 42 F-35Bs for its Izumo class carriers. The rest will be F-35As. For a number of reasons, the F-35A represents a huge capability boost for the JASDF.

    There has only been one in-flight loss of an F-35, that aircraft was an F-35B that crashed near MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina in September of last year.
    We will update this piece as more details come available.

    Update: 5:45am PDT—
    Japan Times has confirmed that the jet went missing with the Defense Ministry, stating:

    "The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that an Air Self-Defense Force F-35A fighter disappeared from radar over the Pacific Ocean.
    The fighter jet vanished from radar east of Aomori Prefecture at 7:27 p.m., the ministry said, adding that it is still confirming the details."

    Update: 6:30am PDT—

    The F-35 was part of a four-ship flight that departed Misawa around the same time and were training in the area together. There is still no word as to the status of the pilot.

    There are some vessels in the area that could be assisting in the search and rescue efforts:

    @cencio4 @CombatAir @Aviation_Intel @Rotorfocus
    3 Japanese Navy ships are in the scene
    1 Coast Guard is going to the area also pic.twitter.com/7PM5LlVxOW
    — Juanma Baiutti (@juanmab) April 9, 2019

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    Default Re: Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean

    Japan lost an F-35 in the Pacific, and the US is in trouble if Russia or China find it first

    The aircraft, designated AX-6, is the second F-35A assembled at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 Final Assembly & Check-Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya, Japan and is the first to be assigned to the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing, 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan.
    JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing, 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan.


    • Japan's military reported on Tuesday that it lost an F-35 stealth jet some 84 miles off the east coast of Aomori prefecture in the Pacific.
    • Experts say Russia and China will do anything to get a look at the crashed jet, and if they do find it or can salvage it, they could seriously undermine the next several decades of US airpower.
    • Russia and China probably couldn't perfectly reconstruct the F-35, but any of its technology that ends up in their hands would be a blow to the heart of the US military.
    • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.


    Japan's military reported on Tuesday that it lost contact with an F-35 stealth jet some 84 miles off the east coast of Aomori prefecture in the Pacific, and that the hunt was on for the pilot and the downed plane.

    But if Russia or China, who both maintain a heavy naval presence in the region, find the plane first, the future of US airpower could be over before it started.

    "Bottom line is that it would not be good," for the future of US airpower if Japan or the US don't quickly recover the jet, retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told Business Insider.

    "There is no price too high in this world for China and Russia to pay to get Japan's missing F-35, if they can. Big deal," Tom Moore, an expert on Russia and weapons proliferation, tweeted.

    The hunt for F-35 tech is on

    Lockheed Martin
    Basically, if Russia or China, perhaps using their advanced and stealthy submarines to probe the ocean floor, first found the jet, they would gain a treasure trove of secrets about the most expensive weapons system in the history of the world.

    The F-35 crash in the Pacific represents the first ever such opportunity for Russia and China to hunt for one of these planes in the wild, as the jet has only crashed once before, and that time was on US soil.

    Potentially, reverse-engineering the technology could allow Russia and China to build their own versions of the jet, up to a point.

    Read more: NATO will lose its next air war to Putin's 'formidable beasts' if it waits for the F-35 to save it

    "The usefulness for Russia or China of recovering some or all of the wreckage would depend on how much damage the aircraft sustained upon hitting the water," Justin Bronk, an combat aviation expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider.

    "The general shape of the jet is well known, as are its performance characteristics so not much to gain there but parts of radar and other sensors would be prime targets for recover and testing/even attempts at reverse engineering," he continued.

    Russia specifically operates a fleet of shadowy submarines meant for very deep dives and research. The US and Japan have advanced maritime capabilities to search for the fallen jet, but mostly rely on two of the US' aging rescue and salvage ships and on large nuclear submarines, which may not be ideal for the rescue mission.

    Read more: Russia says it's going to arm a submarine with 6 nuclear 'doomsday' devices

    As of now, all anyone knows is where the F-35 was last seen flying. It could have continued on for miles, and had currents drag it miles further. In short, the entire region has a chance at brushing up against some piece of it.

    What Russia and China stand to gain
    Associated Press
    Russia and China know what an F-35 looks like. There's even some evidence China stole plans for the F-35. But even with an F-35 in its hands, the two countries still lack the advanced manufacturing know-how held in the US.

    Just having some composite material used in the F-35s jet engines wouldn't necessarily allow China to create the materials at will. Just measuring the characteristics of the fuselage wouldn't necessarily allow Russia to reliably manufacture airframes like the F-35 on its own.

    Read more: The US is ready to send in F-35s into combat if tensions with Russia and Syria boil over

    The F-35's stealth and performance represent a tiny portion of its worth to the US military. The rest lies in the networking, sensor fusion, and secure communications.

    There, according to Bronk, the jet stands a chance against prying eyes.

    "Samples or the 'fibre mat' stealth coating would be sought after," said Bronk, "but the jet's all important software and programming would likely be hard to reconstruct given not only the likely damage from the crash and salt water in Pacific, but also the way that the jet's sensitive systems are designed to be very hard to decipher and reverse engineer to make it more suitable for export."

    Despite the US's best efforts, Russia or China salvaging any part of the F-35 represents a US security nightmare.
    "Both China and Russia have excellent reconstruction/reverse engineering/copying skills, particularly the Chinese as they are masters at it," said Deptula.

    Bronk and Deptula both agreed that in Moscow, Washington, Beijing, and Tokyo, the race is now on to find the fallen F-35 and either protect, or undermine its future as the lynchpin of US and allied airpower.

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    Default Re: Japanese F-35A Has Gone Missing Over The Pacific Ocean


    Wreckage Confirmed To Be Crashed Japanese F-35 Stealth Fighter; Pilot Still Missing

    April 10, 2019

    Search and rescue teams found wreckage from a Japanese F-35 stealth fighter that crashed over the Pacific Ocean close to northern Japan, but the pilot remains missing, authorities said on Wednesday.

    The aircraft, less than one-year-old, was the first F-35 to be assembled in Japan and was only in the air for 28 minutes on Tuesday, a defence official said.

    It is only the second F-35 to crash in the two-decades it has been flying.

    The advanced, single-seat jet was flying about 135 km (84 miles) east of the Misawa air base in Aomori Prefecture with three other aircraft at about 7:27 p.m. on Tuesday when it disappeared from radar, the Air Self Defense Force said.

    "We recovered the wreckage and determined it was from the F-35," a spokesman for the Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) said, adding that the pilot of the aircraft was still missing.

    The aircraft was at the front of a group of four planes out for training maneuvers when it sent an "aborting practice" signal and then disappeared from the radar, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters.

    "We'll need to cooperate with the U.S. forces and I believe arrangements are being made for this," Iwaya said, adding the priority was on determining the cause of the accident.

    Japan has a total of 13 F-35s, including the one that crashed. The crashed aircraft was the fifth F-35 delivered to the ASDF, but the first assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, a second ASDF official told Reuters.

    The previous four aircraft had been used for training in the United States before being brought to Japan, the defense official said.

    A representative for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said the company had no immediate comment. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd assembles the aircraft at a plant near Nagoya in central Japan. Each costs around $100 million, slightly more than the cost of buying a fully assembled plane.

    The aircraft had been in the air for 28 minutes when contact was lost, the official said. The pilot had 3,200 hours of flight time, with 60 hours on the F-35, the official said.

    The aircraft crashed in waters that reach a depth of around 1,500 meters, making recovery difficult, the official said.

    The aircraft was less than a year old and was delivered to the ASDF in May last year, the ASDF spokesman said. Japan's first squadron of F-35s has just become operational at Misawa and the government plans to buy 87 of the stealth fighters to modernize its air defenses as China's military power grows.

    The crash marks only the second time an F-35 has gone down since the plane began flying almost two decades ago. It was also the first crash of an A version of the fifth-generation fighter, which is designed to penetrate enemy defenses by evading radar detection.

    Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the aircraft, said it was standing by to support the Japanese Air Self Defense Force as needed. The Pentagon said it was monitoring the situation.

    A U.S. military short take off and landing (STOVL) F-35B crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina in September prompting a temporary grounding of the aircraft. Lockheed Martin also makes a C version of the fighter designed to operate off carriers.

    Japan's new F-35s will include 18 short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) B variants that planners want to deploy on its islands along the edge of the East China Sea.

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