A Japanese F-35A fighter jet lost radar contact off the coast of Japan on Tuesday, with a search mission now underway.
Japanese media have reported that contact with the jet was lost just before 7:30 p.m. local time. The last known location of the aircraft was over the Pacific Ocean about miles 85 miles east of Misawa city in Aomori prefecture, in northern Japan.
Japan’s national public broadcaster, put out a report stating that the missing F-35A was one of four JASDF F-35As that had taken off from Misawa Air Base for a training mission at 7:00 p.m. local time.
The Japanese coast guard, as well as other JASDF aircraft, will be participating in the search and rescue effort which is currently underway. Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said the JASDF will ground the 12 remaining F-35As for the time being.
More to follow as this story develops.