US F-15 fighter jet crashes near Japan’s Okinawa - Kyodo

F-15 fighters jet deal

"We have been notified that the pilot is in serious condition". The pilot was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Foster and is in serious condition, the statement added.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) rescued the unnamed pilot, whose plane went down during a training mission.

The F-15, belonging to the U.S. Kadena Air Base, crashed at around 6:40 a.m. about 80 kilometers south of Naha, the prefectural capital of Okinawa, the sources said.

No one else was injured or involved but the crash has raised fresh questions about the safety of U.S. military flights in the region after a spate of accidents.

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The F-15 is the Air Force's legacy air superiority fighter and costs $29.9 million per jet.

The latest crash adds to a slew of other accidents involving U.S. military aircraft in recent years, which have fanned safety concerns and local opposition to the military bases there.

"We can not fulfill our responsibilities for our children and their children if such a situation becomes the norm", he said.

The aircraft was conducting a routine training mission with six other F-15 fighters at the time, and the pilot, the sole person on board, was ejected, according to the United States military and the ASDF.

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F-15 fighter jets are twin-engined tactical fighters that were initially envisioned as a pure air superiority vehicle.

"If the problems remain unresolved and another crash occurs, people may become used to it and think that this is how things stand in Okinawa Prefecture", said Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga. They are also expected to lodge formal protests with the US military.

"If that happens, we can not fulfill our responsibilities to our children and grandchildren", Onaga said.

The Japanese government is therefore moving ahead with the plan to relocate the airbase from an urban area in central Okinawa to the less populated Henoko district.

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