A US Navy aircraft carrier was ready to fight again within an hour of an F-35 fighter crashing on the flight deck
USS Carl Vinsonwas ready to launch and receive aircraftwithin 45 minutes of an F-35 crash-landing.
crash, which injured seven, ripped out all four arresting gear wires for recovering aircraft.
Within about 45 minutes of an F-35C stealth fighter crash-landing on the flight deck and falling into the
The carrier-based variant of the US military's newest fifth-generation fighter crashed on the deck of the carrier and then slipped into the sea in late January. The pilot ejected safely and was recovered by a military helicopter.
Navy personnel working on the flight deck responded to the accident in a matter of seconds, clearing away debris and putting out fires, an anonymous defense official told Defense News this week. The crash, which injured seven, ripped out all four arresting gear wires that aircraft hook onto during landings.
"When the mishap happened, we had additional aircraft airborne that needed to land," the official told the outlet. "The training kicked in immediately."
The Navy official said the Carl Vinson was ready to receive aircraft within 30 to 45 minutes of the crash. All four arresting wires were replaced, and the crew checked to make sure no other aircraft were damaged in the crash.
"We got things cleaned up and ready to go so we could be right back in the fight," the official told Defense News.
Aircraft that needed to land on the Carl Vinson were diverted to nearby carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to be refueled, but they returned to the Carl Vinson a few hours later.
The commanding officer of the Carl Vinson, Capt. P. Scott Miller, told reporters it was "rewarding" to see the crew's emergency training in action, Defense News reported.
"The ship's crew and the air wing came together and provided the perfect response. To me, what that validated was our entire training track, where we do our workups with all of the training organizations back home, prepared us perfectly," Miller said.
Leaked videos show harrowing footage from the crash, which the Navy initially described as a "landing mishap" in a press statement.
The Navy, which confirmed the authenticity of the footage, is still investigating who leaked the video.
Miller said that it is hard to track down who might have leaked the images because "everybody's got a phone in their pocket, and every phone's got a camera, and within an instant you can take a picture and share it with 100 people."
The F-35C is one of the military's most advanced jets, and the US is now working to pull the aircraft from the South China Sea, preferably before foreign powers can get their hands on the technology.
"There's a huge opportunity for the Chinese if they were able to get a copy of an actual F-35 to reverse-engineer its features, which they can't do just based on the intelligence gathering they've conducted," Bryan Clark, a former US Navy submarine warfare officer and defense expert at the Hudson Institute, previously told Insider.
"Maybe the bigger concern is if they got ahold of an actual F-35, it would help them to figure out how to better counter it," he continued.
China, which is actively developing and fielding its own fifth-generation fighters in competition with the US military, has said it is not interested in the aircraft.
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