A F-35C Joint Strike Fighter jet deployed aboard the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson launches off the ship’s flight deck on Jan. 22, 2022, in the Philippine Sea. (MCS3 Class Megan Alexander/Navy)

The U.S. Navy has largely kept mum about how it will raise the wreckage of a high-tech F-35C Lightning II jet that crashed onto an aircraft carrier and fell into the South China Sea last week, but a maritime navigation alert released by the Japanese government suggests where the salvage operation may take place.

On Saturday, the Japanese Coast Guard issued a navigation warning indicating that a salvage operation was going on in a northern portion of the South China Sea, roughly 185 miles west of the Philippines and 350 miles east of Woody Island in the Paracels, a group of man-made islands on which Beijing has built an airbase and other military infrastructure.

A map shows the location for which the Japanese government issued a navigational warning due to a salvage operation in the South China Sea.

Officials for U.S. 7th Fleet declined to comment Monday or confirm whether the alert was connected to salvaging the jet.

The command said the Navy is “making recovery operations arrangements” to recover the jet, which crashed into the deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson on Jan. 24 and then fell into the water, injuring the pilot and six sailors in the process.

The pilot ejected before the jet fell into the sea, but the pilot and two other sailors were evacuated to the Philippines for medical care.

Officials said last week that all seven sailors were stable.

The Japan Coast Guard’s Hydrological and Oceanographic Department, or JHOD, is the area coordinator for “NAVAREA XI,” a maritime geographic area demarcated by the International Maritime Organization.

Saturday’s warning notes that salvage operations will be going on there “until further notice.”

JHOD told Defense News that the water depth at the location is about 11,800 feet, according to surveys.

Officials said last week that all seven sailors were stable.

The Japan Coast Guard’s Hydrological and Oceanographic Department, or JHOD, is the area coordinator for “NAVAREA XI,” a maritime geographic area demarcated by the International Maritime Organization.

Saturday’s warning notes that salvage operations will be going on there “until further notice.”

JHOD told Defense News that the water depth at the location is about 11,800 feet, according to surveys.

Officials said last week that all seven sailors were stable.

The Japan Coast Guard’s Hydrological and Oceanographic Department, or JHOD, is the area coordinator for “NAVAREA XI,” a maritime geographic area demarcated by the International Maritime Organization.

Saturday’s warning notes that salvage operations will be going on there “until further notice.”

JHOD told Defense News that the water depth at the location is about 11,800 feet, according to surveys.

 

Source: Navy prepares F-35C recovery op in South China Sea as Japan issues salvage notice (navytimes.com)