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31 July


US erroneously reported finding the wreckage of an F-35 fighter

Americans, apparently, were frightened that Russians or Chinese would find their "secret military technologies"

Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ A U.S. Air Force commander told reporters here Monday that the F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off the coast of Japan had been located, and that recovery efforts were underway. This article appeared in the Nikkei Asian Review.

"The aircraft's been located.... It's now in the recovery aspect," said Charles Brown, four-star general and commander of the Pacific Air Forces, in a briefing for reporters in New York.

But later in the day, Colonel John Hutcheson, the director of public affairs at U.S. Forces Japan, contacted the Nikkei Asian Review and said "the aircraft has not been located at the bottom of the sea. The U.S. military is still working with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to locate the wreckage."

Since the Japanese-built jet disappeared April 9, Japan time, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. military have poured resources into searching for its wreckage, which could expose sensitive American military technology secrets if retrieved by China or Russia.

The F-35, a fifth-generation fighter developed by American defense contractor Lockheed Martin, evades radar and is expected to play a crucial role in the defense strategies of the U.S. and its allies for decades to come.