RAF Marham jet which crashed into Mediterranean Sea is recovered

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrio

An F35 takes off from HMS Queen Elizabeth. - Credit: MoD

A £100m F-35 jet from RAF Marham which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea has been recovered, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The pilot ejected safely after the warplane got into difficulty shorty after taking off from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at 10am on Wednesday, November 17.

An operation has been under way since the incident to recover the Lockheed Martin jet, with crews finally recovering the plane on Wednesday, December 8, with the assistance of NATO allies Italy and the USA.

The rescue operation meant that a royal visit from Prince Charles had to be cancelled.

Following the incident, leaked footage appearing to show the jet falling off the end of the aircraft carrier was released.

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrio

HMS Queen Elizabeth which carries a squadron from RAF Marham. - Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Footage appears to show the aircraft slowing down as it approaches the carrier's ski jump. Just before the plane topples into the water, the pilot is seen ejecting.

Shortly after the aircraft disappears from view, a parachute can be seen floating towards the water. The footage appears to have been recorded from one of the carrier's own surveillance cameras.

Following the crash, Justin Bronk, research fellow for airpower and technology at defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said: "However advanced an aircraft is, flying fast jets is inherently risky, doubly so off an aircraft carrier deck.

"All air forces lose aircraft over the lifetime of fleets, the UK has been lucky that we haven't lost one yet.

"Carrier aviation is a higher risk because aircraft movements on deck take place in a much smaller, confined space.

"If something goes wrong, there may not be any options to divert."

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Mr Bronk said at the time that if the MoD was unable to recover the jet it would have begun the process to destroy it in order to avoid having it fall into enemy hands.

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