US Navy ends search for Japanese F-35A in the Pacific

The US Navy is concluding its support for the search and recovery operations of the Japanese F-35A fighter jet that went missing over the Pacific, off Misawa Air Base on April 9.

US Navy file photo of a cable-controlled undersea recovery vehicle (CURV-21)

A US Navy salvage team aboard the contracted vessel DSCV Van Gogh completed its mission after locating debris from the downed JASDF F-35A.

Working with JSDF forces, the salvage team deployed a US Navy remotely operated vehicle, CURV 21, to survey the area where debris was located.

Prior to the salvage team mission, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) and multiple P-8A Poseidon aircraft joined JSDF-led search efforts from Apr. 9-17, covering more than 5,000 square nautical miles.

The plane crashed during a regular training mission. Parts of the jet’s tail fin were recovered shortly after the accident. Japan’s defense minister confirmed to reporters that parts of the plane’s data recorder had been found but the recorder’s memory is yet to be retrieved.