Japanese officials have discovered that part of the fighter’s fuselage has disappeared as the search for the two on board continues.
Japanese aircraft and boats were looking for two crew members from a fighter that was supposed to have crashed.
The Japan Sea Self-Defense Force jet disappeared from air traffic control radar on Monday shortly after takeoff, about 5 kilometers from Komatsu Air Force Base on the coast of the Sea of Japan, where two tactical combat airfields are located.
Some of the F-15 jets on the training mission were found, but authorities are still searching for the two on board, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Tuesday.
“It is believed that the fighter crashed because part of the fighter’s fuselage was found in the area,” Matsuno said.
The Japan Coast Guard said in a press release that it continued to search after search and rescue helicopters and three Coast Guards found aircraft wreckage at sea.
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi spoke with reporters to dismiss early media reports that one of the pilots was found.
So far, there is no explanation for the crash, and the Defense Ministry has not attempted to land the F-15 in response to the incident.
Most of the Boeing F-15 jets that Japan flies on are manufactured under license from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and have been Japan’s flagship fighter for 40 years.
They regularly scramble to accommodate Chinese and Russian aircraft investigating the country’s airspace.
There are about 200 F-15s in Japan, half of which will be upgraded by Boeing to extend operational life and improve capacity.
Most of the Japanese F-15s are single-seater aircraft with two-seater variations used for training.
In 2019, a Japanese Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter that participated in a training mission crashed into the Pacific Ocean as the pilot was likely to have experienced spatial disorientation.
Source: TRT World and distributors
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/japan-finds-part-of-missing-f-15-jet-search-for-crew-continues-54274?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Japan discovers part of the missing F-15 jet, crew search continues