02:23 GMT08 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - An American P-8A surveillance aircraft and a guided missile destroy have joined Japan’s military in searching for a missing F-35A pilot, the US Navy said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "A P-8A joined JASDF [Japan Air Self Defense Force] aircraft and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships searching the area overnight," the release said. "Additional flights are continuing today. Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is sailing to the search area now."

    READ MORE: Japanese Military Found F-35 Debris, Pilot Still Missing — Reports

    Earlier on Wednesday, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya confirmed that his country’s F-35A fighter, which went missing a day earlier, had crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

    The incident took place during a training flight involving four F-35A fighters. One pilot was on board of the missing aircraft. The missing jet was reportedly the first F-35A assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries facility in Nagoya.


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