USA fighter jet crashes off Japan coast

Pauline Gross
June 13, 2018

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) - A U.S. F-15 fighter jet crashed into the sea off Okinawa on Monday morning, with the pilot rescued by a Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter, government sources said. He is reported to have a broken leg, but is otherwise safe.

Following the crash of the US F-15C Eagle jet, the Japanese Defense Ministry reportedly called for the improvement and safety of USA military flights in the region.

The base is the US's main hub of airpower in the Pacific, according to its website. It occurred during a "routine training mission", the Air Force said.

The fighter crash is one of a string of recent US military mishaps in Japan.

The F-15 is the Air Force's legacy air superiority fighter and costs $29.9 million per jet.

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After Monday's incident, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera once again called on the USA military to ensure the safety of its aircraft and prevent future occurrences. "Your quick response proves once again how valuable an asset you are to the U.S./Japanese alliance", Kadena Air Base, where around 47,000 American troops are based, said in a statement on Twitter.

The pilot ejected and was picked up by Japanese forces. "We will continue asking them to ensure safety", he said.

The unit has temporarily paused F-15 training while the 18th Wing reviews "operational, maintenance and safety procedures with unit personnel", the statement added.

The U.S. Air Force is also considering replacing the F-15s, worth around $36 million each, with F-16 fighting falcons by 2020.

Okinawa government officials asked the USA military to suspend F-15 flights until their safety could be confirmed, Kyodo reported.

Other reports by GizPress

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