British F-35 fighter crashes in Mediterranean

British F-35 fighter crashes in Mediterranean

A British F-35 fighter jet has crashed into the sea during a routine operation in the Mediterranean, the British Ministry of Defence has said.

The pilot ejected and has safely returned to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and an investigation has begun, the MoD added.

The incident occurred at 10:00 GMT over international waters and no other aircraft were involved, BBC reported.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the jet came down soon after take off. He said: "We are pleased the pilot is safe and well and back on board." Wallace added that operational and training flights onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth are continuing despite the incident.

With the pilot having ejected and now back on board, efforts now will be to recover the jet, each of which costs around £100m.

This is the first time a UK F-35 has crashed, but there have been several involving U.S. jets.

An investigation is already under way into why the British jet came down. With no other aircraft involved or hostile actions that investigation is likely to focus on a technical failure or potential human error.