- USS Carl Vinson was ready to launch and receive aircraft within 45 minutes of the F-35 landing.
- The accident, which injured seven, cut all four gear wires that had stopped to recover the aircraft.
- The Navy is still in the process of recovering the F-35 stealth aircraft from the South China Sea.
Within about 45 minutes of a stealthy F-35C fighter jet crashing onto the flight deck and plunging into the South China Sea, the USS Carl Vinson is back in action, ready to receive and launch the aircraft. A Navy official told Defense News.
A modified version of the US Army’s latest fifth-generation fighter crashed onto the carrier’s deck and slid into the sea in late January. The pilot was ejected safely and was recovered by a military helicopter.
Navy personnel working on the flight deck responded to the incident within seconds, removing debris and putting out fires, according to an anonymous defense official. Defense news this week. The accident, which injured seven, severed all four gear wires the plane had attached to during landing.
“When the accident happened, we had additional planes that were airborne and needed to land,” the official told the outlet. The training began immediately.
The naval official said the Carl Vinson was ready to receive the planes within 30 to 45 minutes of crashing. All four wires were replaced, and the crew checked to make sure no other aircraft was damaged in the accident.
“We’ve cleared things up and are ready to go so we can get right back into the fight,” the official told Defense News.
Aircraft that needed to land on Carl Vinson were diverted to the nearby aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for refueling, but returned to Carl Vinson a few hours later.
Defense News reports that the ship’s captain, Carl Vinson, Captain B. Scott Miller, told reporters it was “rewarding” to see emergency crew training in action.
“The ship’s crew and air wing got together and gave the perfect response,” Miller said. “For me, what validated this was the entire training path, where we do business with all the training organizations back home, and we’ve prepared perfectly.”
Leaked videos Shocking footage emerges from the accident, which the Navy initially described as a “landing accident” in a press release.
The Navy, which confirmed the authenticity of the footage, is still investigating who leaked the video.
Miller said it’s hard to track down who leaked the photos because “everyone has a phone in their pocket, every phone has a camera, and in a moment you can take a picture and share it with 100 people.”
The F-35C is one of the most advanced military aircraft, and now the United States Work to withdraw aircraft from the South China Seapreferably before foreign powers can acquire the technology.
“There is a huge opportunity for the Chinese if they can get an actual copy of the F-35 to reverse engineer its features, which they can’t do just based on the intelligence gathering they have done,” said Brian Clark, a former U.S. Navy submarine warfare officer and defense expert at The Hudson Institute, previously told Insider.
“Probably the biggest concern is if they get an actual F-35, it will help them figure out how to better counter it,” he continued.
China, which is actively developing and bringing its fifth-generation fighters into competition with the US military, has said it is not interested in the aircraft.
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