Japan says missing F-15 fighter likely crashed, crew missing | Military News


Two crew members are still missing as the search and rescue team recovers part of the fighter jet’s fuselage.

A missing Japanese F-15 fighter jet is believed to have crashed and its two crew members are still missing, according to the Defense Ministry.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force plane disappeared from air traffic control radar on Monday shortly after takeoff, about 5 km (3 miles) from Komatsu Air Base on the Sea of ​​Japan coast, which has two tactical fighter squadrons, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Public service broadcaster NHK quoted Japanese officials as saying the F-15 fighter jet did not send out an emergency signal before it went missing and they did not receive any calls reporting irregularities or signals. safety.

According to the report, officials believe flight conditions “deteriorated rapidly”, giving the two-person crew no time to react.

Speaking to reporters, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi dismissed an initial media report that one of the pilots had been found.

Search and rescue helicopters and three coast guard vessels continued their search after finding plane wreckage in the sea, the Japan Coast Guard said in a news release.

“As part of the fuselage of the fighter jet was discovered in the area, it is believed that the fighter jet crashed,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Tuesday.

The spokesman said “every effort” was being made to locate the missing crew members.

Most of the F-15 jets flown by Japan were built under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and served as Japan’s primary front-line fighter for four decades, regularly rushing in to respond to Chinese and Russian planes probing the country’s airspace.

Japan has some 200 F-15s, half of which will be retrofitted by Boeing to extend their lifespan and improve their capabilities.

Most Japanese F-15s are single-seat aircraft, with the two-seat variant being used for training.

In 2019, a Japanese Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter on a training mission crashed in the Pacific Ocean after its pilot suffered spatial disorientation.


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