Search for Japanese F-35A that disappeared over Pacific Ocean remains ongoing

The Air Self-Defense Force's F-35A fighter jet is seen at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture.


By HANA KUSUMOTO | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 9, 2019

TOKYO — A Japanese F-35A stealth fighter disappeared Tuesday while training over the Pacific Ocean, according to the nation’s defense minister.

The jet, assigned to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force at Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan, disappeared from the radar just before 7:30 p.m. about 85 miles east of the base while while on late-night flight with three other F-35As, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters.

The missing pilot is a major in his 40s, Iwaya said.

Japan sent air and naval forces to the area for the search, he added.

All of Japan’s F-35As, which are assigned to Misawa, will be grounded, according to TV Asahi.

Thirteen of the advanced fighters have deployed to Misawa since January 2018, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Twitter: @HanaKusumoto

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