Royal Navy’s F-35A fighter jet crashes off Sweden

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The plane came down off the Josef Gaigel in the Baltic Sea

An F-35A fighter jet belonging to the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine Prince of Wales has crashed off the Baltic Sea after a mechanical failure.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said there were no casualties but that five of the nine crew were airlifted to hospital.

All the navy’s F-35A Typhoons are being taken from their active operations to a base on the Channel Island of Jersey.

The Royal Navy says the Kamov helicopter it was in, the Prince of Wales, was being refurbished.

Rebecca Vincent, a British ambassador to Finland, was killed in a helicopter crash in Finland while on a trip to visit Finland’s military base.

According to an MoD spokesman: “A Royal Navy KHMJ Cobra attack helicopter assigned to HMS Prince of Wales experienced a mechanical fault while conducting training off the coast of Sweden.

“The nine crew on board were evacuated to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. There were no casualties.”

The aircraft crashed at about 0835 local time (0435 GMT) near the town of Paquera in southwestern Sweden.

It was in the Brahmaputra river valley, 120km (75 miles) east of the town of Paquera and 17km north of the border with Denmark, the Stockholm county police said.

Over two years since it was due to enter service, only five of the Royal Navy’s 14 F-35As have been delivered, with a further 11 on order.

The MoD said the Prince of Wales’s crews were being recalled for maintenance, with the navy’s most-modern aircraft expected to reach operational service in 2028.

The MoD said the Russian Navy had crashed a single fighter earlier on Wednesday when it carried out a training mission over the Baltic Sea.

Image copyright SWNS Image caption An RAF Typhoon collided with a Hawk trainer aircraft during a combat training flight on Wednesday.

In 2015, another US Air Force aircraft crashed in the eastern German state of Saxony, after one of its pilots ejected.

“The IAF fighter lost engine power,” said German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen. “The pilot ejected successfully, a few kilometers from the plane.”

As many as 200,000 people were evacuated from their homes during Russian military exercises in the Baltic Sea last year.

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