Military Capabilities

USN deploys destroyer, P-8A aircraft in search for downed Japanese F-35A pilot

10 April 2019

The US Navy (USN) has deployed an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Stethem (63) and a P-8A maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to assist in the Japanese-led search for a missing Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) pilot.

The pilot was in the stricken F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that went missing on 9 April while on a training mission over the Pacific Ocean.

The aircraft had taken off from Misawa Air Base in Japan at 1900 h local time on a training mission with three other F-35As, but disappeared from radar screens about 30 minutes later. Japanese officials confirmed with the media on 10 April that wreckage from the aircraft have been found.

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