Seven US military personnel were on Monday hurt when an F-35C Lightning II combat jet had a “landing mishap” on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea, the US Navy said.
The pilot was able to eject before the aircraft slammed into the flight deck of the Carl Vinson and then fell into the water, US 7th Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Mark Langford said, adding that the pilot was safely recovered by a helicopter.
The incident happened during “routine flight operations” in the South China Sea, a US Navy statement said.
Photo: US Navy via AP
“The pilot is in stable condition. There were seven total sailors injured,” it said.
The Pentagon said that two carrier strike groups began operations in the South China Sea on Sunday, which the US military says is to demonstrate the “US Indo-Pacific Command Joint Force’s ability to deliver a powerful maritime force.”
In related news, Philippine presidential front-runner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr said that he plans to negotiate a deal with China to resolve the territorial dispute in the South China Sea if he wins this year’s election, while fostering ties with the US and Russia.
The arbitration case which the Philippines won against China is “not effective,” Marcos said, adding that a bilateral agreement with Beijing is the “only practical option.”
ASEAN could also help resolve the sea dispute, he said in an interview with DZRH radio yesterday.
Marco said that he would not side with any superpower, but would create his own foreign policy.
His stance is similar to that of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has warmed ties with China, while maintaining the Southeast Asian nation’s alliance with the US.
The Philippines has repeatedly filed diplomatic protests against China for its presence in disputed waters.
Additional reporting by AP and Bloomberg
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