A US F-35 fighter jet crashed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea on Monday, injuring seven people.
The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet said the crash happened as a result of a “landing mishap,” the cause of which is “under investigation.” The crash happened while the Carl Vinson was conducting drills with the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.
The F-35 crash is the second US military mishap to happen in the South China Sea since October when a US submarine collided with an underwater mountain in the disputed waters. The US refused to disclose where the submarine had its accident, angering China.
The Carl Vinson and the Abraham Lincoln enter the South China Sea on Sunday and their presence demonstrated the US commitment to maintaining a regular aircraft carrier presence in the waters. Earlier this month, the Carl Vinson held joint drills with an amphibious group led by the USS Essex, a landing helicopter dock ship.
Last week, The South China Morning Post reported on the increased presence of US aircraft carriers in the disputed waters. In 2021, 10 carrier strike groups entered the South China Sea, compared with six in 2020 and five in 2019.