A US-chartered ship is slated to support an ongoing search for a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fighter aircraft that recently crashed in the Pacific, Japan’s defence minister told local reporters on Tuesday, April 23.
Mr Takeshi Iwaya confirmed that the diving support construction vessel Van Gogh (pictured) of Singapore-based Ultra Deep Solutions will participate in the joint Japan-US operation to search for and recover the wreck of an F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter that crashed in the waters off Aomori Prefecture shortly after it took off on a nighttime training flight on April 9.
No trace of the aircraft or its pilot has yet been found.
Van Gogh has been chartered by the US Department of Defense to support the search for the F-35A upon Tokyo’s request.
In a separate press conference on Tuesday, Japanese science minister Masahiko Shibayama said that the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has also been requested to assist in the search for the missing fighter aircraft.
JAMSTEC will deploy the research vessel Kaimei as well as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to support the search effort.
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