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NATO and allies race against time to recover supersonic fighter before Russia

The United States, the United Kingdom, and NATO want to ensure that Russia does not get into the wreckage of a supersonic fighter, which crashed last Wednesday in the Mediterranean Sea, shortly after taking off from the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. NATO fears that Moscow may arrive first and seize the F-35B technology, despite saying the opposite.

“We are not worried because we are working on it right now. There was a concern when the plane went down, but the pilot is safe and that is the most important thing,” added the Deputy Supreme Commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. General Tim Radford declined to reveal to journalists, who are aboard the aircraft carrier, more details about the rescue operation.

“We’ll get it back first [than Russia], I assure you,” said General Simon Doran, the highest-ranking American aboard the British aircraft carrier.

The fighter pilot, who operates on the UK’s largest aircraft carrier, managed to eject and return to the ship safely.

“Truly regrettable incident”

The F-35B jet arouses a lot of curiosity and greed. A variant of the fifth-generation F-35, this model is capable of a vertical landing and a short take-off. Manufactured by the American Lockheed Martin, the F35-B is equipped with Stealth technology, whose special material in the fuselage and asymmetrical shape to absorb radar waves or reflect them, allows the plane to operate in hostile airspace without being detected by the enemy.

For these reasons, the loss of an F-35B is a “truly regrettable incident (…), a setback”, admitted Steven Moorhouse, who heads one of the nine ships in the Mediterranean, adding that “the reliability of this device and our confidence in it and in the project are intact”.

The UK has 21 of these stealth fighters, most destined for the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince-of-Wales aircraft carriers.

For “operational reasons”, the visit of Prince Charles to the aircraft carrier, which was near Alexandria, Egypt, scheduled for last Friday, was cancelled.

Source: with agencies

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