RAF Marham fighter pilot crashes £100m F-35 in Mediterranean Sea

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrio

An F35 takes off from HMS Queen Elizabeth. - Credit: MoD

A fighter pilot from RAF Marham has been forced to eject from his £100m F-35 jet after crashing it into the Mediterranean Sea.

It happened while the squadron from HMS Queen Elizabeth was out on routine manoeuvres at about 10am on Wednesday morning.

The pilot, from the Norfolk base, which has a crew operating from the aircraft carrier, has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun.

Former soldier Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Commons Defence Select Committee, said he had "many questions" about the crash.

Jets from the vessel previously participated in strikes against the remnants of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The 65,000-tonne Royal Navy flagship is returning to the UK from its maiden deployment, which included exercises with the Indian military.

It was part of the carrier strike group's deployment to the Indo-Pacific amid heightened tensions with China in the region.

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The jets are operated by the renowned 617 Squadron, also known as the "Dambusters" squadron.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss, South West Norfolk MP, spent time on board the vessel last month on the final day of her two-day visit to India.

Ministry of Defence officials said on Wednesday evening they will not be commenting further.

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