22:32 GMT21 October 2020
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    The UK Ministry of Defence is collaborating with US authorities as they look to review the status of 17 F-35B fighter jets - the probe was initiated after a Japanese F-35 jet crashed on Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean, according to a ministry spokesperson.

    "Safety is of the utmost importance and very closely managed on the F-35 programme. We will continue to review the situation as further information becomes available," the UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson noted.

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

    The British Ministry of Defence has shown its concern as it has plans to purchase a total of 138 F-35 fighter jets developed by Lockheed Martin, according to Reuters. In November last year, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the UK was doubling its fleet of F-35 fighters by ordering 17 more jets. 

    The UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson's remark comes after Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya confirmed earlier on Wednesday that one of their F-35A stealth fighter jets had crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

    On Tuesday, an F-35A fighter jet disappeared from radars 135 kilometres (84 miles) east of the Misawa Air Base, located in the country's northern Aomori prefecture. The incident took place during a training flight involving four F-35A fighters. The pilot who was on board the aircraft is still missing, according to an Air Self-Defence Force (ASDF) spokesman cited earlier by Reuters.


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