Race is on to reach sunken US fighter jet

Race is on to reach sunken US fighter jet
Race is on to reach sunken US fighter jet

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Race is on to reach sunken US fighter jet in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — A race against time is under way for the US Navy to reach one of its downed fighter jets - before the Chinese get there first.

The $100m (£74m) F35-C plane came down in the South China Sea after what the Navy describes as a "mishap" during take-off from the USS Carl Vinson.

The jet is the Navy's newest, and crammed with classified equipment. As it is in international waters, it is technically fair game.

Whoever gets there first, wins.

The prize? All the secrets behind this very expensive, leading-edge fighting force.

Seven sailors were injured when the jet came down on Monday after it struck Vinson's deck during a military exercise.

It is now lying on the ocean bed, but what happens next is a mystery. The Navy will not confirm either where it came down or how long it will take to retrieve it.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea and has increasingly taken steps to assert that claim in recent years, refusing to recognise a 2016 international tribunal ruling saying it had no legal basis.

National security experts say Chinese military would be "very keen" to get to the jet but a US salvage vessel looks to be at least 10 days away from the crash site.

That's too late, says defence consultant Abi Austen, because the black box battery will die before then, making it harder to locate the aircraft.

"It's vitally important the US gets this back," she says. "The F-35 is basically like a flying computer. It's designed to link up other assets - what the Air Force calls 'linking sensors to shooters'."

China doesn't have that technology so getting their hands on it would give them a huge leap forward, she says.

"If they can get into the 35's networking capabilities, it effectively undermines the whole carrier philosophy."

Asked if there were echoes of the Cold War here, she says: "It's all about who's the biggest dog in the park! This is basically The Hunt For Red October meets The Abyss - it's a brilliant three-act play."

Ms Austen, a former adviser to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and former senior Nato and EU diplomat, said she believes any attempt by China to try to claim salvage rights was them "stress testing" the US.

It comes at a vulnerable and dangerous time following what some perceived as a disorganised and disastrous Afghanistan pull-out, she believes.

There is no doubt China wants this plane, although cyber espionage may mean they already have some knowledge of its interior, layout and workings, says Bryce Barros, a China affairs analyst and security fellow at the Truman Project.

"I think they would want to see actual parts of the plane, to better understand how it is laid out and find its vulnerabilities."

The US Navy acknowledged in a statement that a recovery operation was under way following the "mishap" aboard USS Carl Vinson.

A team from the US Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving would attach bags to the jet's fuselage which will then be slowly inflated to raise the wreckage.

This operation will be more difficult if the airframe is not largely in one piece.

The aircraft was likely to have been armed with at least a couple of missiles carried either on its wings or in the internal weapons bay which could also complicate recovery.

There is precedent for these winner-takes-all military cat and mouse games.

In 1974, at the height of the Cold War, the CIA secretly pulled a Russian submarine from the sea floor off the coast of Hawaii using a giant mechanical claw

Two years earlier, the Chinese military secretly salvaged the UK submarine HMS Poseidon which sank off China's east coast.

And it is widely believed that China got its hands on the wreckage of a secret US "stealth" helicopter that crash-landed in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in 2011.

Mr Barros said: "We are sure the Chinese military got to see the onboard equipment and software then."

The Guinness World Record-holding deepest successful salvage operation was the raising of the wreckage of a US Navy transport aircraft from the floor of the Philippine Sea in May 2019.

It was some 5,638m (18,500 ft) below the surface,

One other option, of course, is to destroy the jet to stop it getting into the hands of Beijing.

"The easiest thing to do would be to torpedo it!" said one military officer.

But that's not thought to be an avenue under consideration. — BBC

These were the details of the news Race is on to reach sunken US fighter jet for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Saudi Gazette and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

PREV UK investigating Hamas’ claim that British hostage killed in Gaza
NEXT Top French university loses funding over pro-Palestinian protests

Author Information

I am Joshua Kelly and I focus on breaking news stories and ensuring we (“Al-KhaleejToday.NET”) offer timely reporting on some of the most recent stories released through market wires about “Services” sector. I have formerly spent over 3 years as a trader in U.S. Stock Market and is now semi-stepped down. I work on a full time basis for Al-KhaleejToday.NET specializing in quicker moving active shares with a short term view on investment opportunities and trends. Address: 838 Emily Drive Hampton, SC 29924, USA Phone: (+1) 803-887-5567 Email: [email protected]