back to article US Navy in mad dash to salvage F-35C that fell off a carrier into South China Sea

The US Navy has managed to drop an F-35C fighter jet off one of its aircraft carriers into the South China Sea, just months after the Royal Navy did the same thing with an F-35B in the Mediterranean. F-35C Lightning II in a high G maneuver, with condensation clouds over the wings and trails at the wing tips F-35C Lightning …

  1. JassMan Silver badge

    Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

    An automation failure would throw the pilot back to basic stick and rudder skills, potentially leading to an accident if he or she wasn't prepared for that. Aviation safety professionals identify such unexpected scenarios as "startle."

    That's the trouble with automated systems, they are overconfident and won't tell you there is a problem until its too late. True AI when it finally arrives will be just as bad except it will put up a message saying "I told you, you went weren't as good as me. Look, you crashed, you dumb meatsack"

    1. emfiliane

      Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

      There's a large class of sudden unexpected problems that can't be detected until they happen, whether you're in automatic or manual mode. One of the classic examples is landing gear fails to deploy or lock. Though I do agree that this halfsies functionality of self-driving cars and self-flying planes causes a second or two longer reaction time at a critical moment, and all the ringing a human to take over in an emergency is never going to work long-term.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

      There is still more good than bad in automation in aviation, and that knowledge is accumulating something that doesn't happen with us as each pilot will always start from scratch.

      Reading about accidents I get the feeling a lot more accidents are caused by human error than anything else.

      1. Ken G Bronze badge

        Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

        Yes, if the pilot doesn't turn off the autopilot, that's human error, if the pilot hasn't been told how to turn it off, that's human error, if the autopilot has been incorrectly programmed, that's human error, if the autopilot doesn't have enough sensors to function correctly, human error, if someone decides it would be too expensive to add them, human error. I'm obviously thinking Boeing not McDD here.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

          I do hope that somewhere serious mathematicians are passing their side rules (remember them?) over the numbers. If an activity is automated there is statistical evidence that the results are better than allowing a human to complete it?

          Of course, having human monitoring, even allowing for the shock and awe induced when the big fucking klaxon goes off, will be factored as an advantage in the sums.

          1. claimed

            Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

            Who gives a fuck if it's better? I'm not washing my clothes in the river on a washboard and I like it that way.

            The point of automation isn't improving (though if that happens, and it often does, brill); the point is me not having to fucking do it.

            What on earth are you on about...

      2. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge

        Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

        .. "that knowledge is accumulating" ... No, it is not. The software is proprietary, the ML datasets (if any) are proprietary, and the aircraft manufacturing companies do not share.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Probably similar to the experiences of some Tesla drivers.

      Or the future AI will say "What is my goal? To get the car and its occupants to this destination safely. So what I'll do is kill the occupants so then I can't fail getting them to this destination safey as they no longer live. Result". AI has already shown it breaks rules in this way with specification gaming.

      A Google doc with some funny examples.

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRPiprOaC3HsCf5Tuum8bRfzYUiKLRqJmbOoC-32JorNdfyTiRRsR7Ea5eWtvsWzuxo8bjOxCG84dAg/pubhtml

  2. HildyJ Silver badge
    WTF?

    Software?

    According to Bloomberg "A $14 billion Pentagon software upgrade for F-35 jets is being installed on planes that are already deployed even though it’s “immature, deficient and insufficiently tested,” according to a new assessment by the military’s testing office."

    Not that we'll ever know but I wonder if this was a result of that?

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Software?

      The good news is that if the Chinese get their hands on an F-35 then the Royal Navy will finally be able to fully arm both aircraft carriers via Amazon.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Amazon

        Taobao surely?

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Software?

        Alibaba or Aliexpress and for a considerably lower price.

        The biggest problem would be out of the way deliveries where, typically the shippers that Ali' use just return to sender.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Software?

      I wonder if anyone noticed the small Chinese fishing boat nearby with a lad who is a cousin of the software writer using an RC drone controller?

      Or if the Chinese sub shadowing the carrier, managed to catch the sinking plane?

  3. Clausewitz 4.0
    Devil

    Where Britain leads, America follows

    More like Where America leads, British lap-dog follows

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

      Lap-dog is so 18th century.

      Please, can we have some new insults fit for the 21st?

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

        Cockwomble?

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

          Cockwomble is so Borisian.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

            What's...

            "I came, I saw, I ate cake"

            in Latin?

            1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

              Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

              Veni, vidi, bibi?

              1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

                Veni, vidi, pastri?

              2. Outski Silver badge

                Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

                Vidi, veni, Carrie?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

              ""I came, I saw, I ate cake"

              in Latin?"

              Veni, vidi, confectionati?

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

      Surely a lap dog gets carried?

      Icon: I belive Ms Hilton has such an example

    3. el_oscuro

      Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

      This Iron Maiden video seems to capture that concept. And Maiden screwed up by using a 737-Max for their flight 666 tour plane.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhBnW7bZHEE&list=RDMMWjKKD6yXlVc&index=3

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Where Britain leads, America follows

        You sure about that? As I recall Ed Force One was originally 757, and later on 747.

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge

    F35 A, B & C models

    The C variant lands like most navy jets by snagging a wire with a tailhook at over 100 knots, when these landings go wrong 'nobody died' is a good result.

    Landing (Automated or not) in anything other than a flat calm become progessively more dangerous as the seas worsen to the point of scrubbing flight operations entirely due to deck pitching*. The old Harrier showed it could land in far worse conditions by arriving alongside the centre of the ship and side stepping onto the deck slowly.

    The F35 has three concurrent models in production, 'A' is land based, non carrier & non VTOL, 'B' is VTOL, 'C' is a non VTOL and has a larger wing area.

    the A & C models are very similar in design & capabilities while the B only looks the same but has a massive lift fan & gearbox behind the pilot taking up space that on the other models would be fuel & internal weapon space.

    The 'B' variant exists because the USMC (and many other users) really like the Harriers ability to operate from anywhere their helicopters can.

    On a side note the Japanese lost an F35A in 2019 most of which is still missing after crashing into the sea north of Japan.

    *Aircraft arriving at the stern while it's moving up or down at speed risk either missing the wires and collecting the up swinging bow or hitting far too hard and being wrecked.

    1. Lon24 Silver badge

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      Time to put the Fairey Swordfish back in production? If the finest German WW2 technology was too advanced to cope - what chance now for the Russian & Chinese?

      Canvas radar reflectivity probably puts the Swordfish in the ultimte stealth class. Whilst the landing speed of 65mph and low inertia made landing on pitching decks interesting but not a great problem.

      Making Britain crate again?

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        We've had similar discussions here previously:

        Should it be a Mosquito?

        Or a Swordfish?

        I'm sure there have been many, many other occasions over the years. Perhaps someone ought to do something about it?

        M.

        1. Ken G Bronze badge
          Holmes

          Re: F35 A, B & C models

          Sopwith Camel with 2 x MANPADS replacing the Vickers

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        >Time to put the Fairey Swordfish back in production?

        Surely the Supermarine seaplane would be better?

        Then when it falls off the aircraft carrier it will at least float.

        In fact you wouldn't need an aircraft carrier - just some sort of yacht with a floating wardroom and some sort of tender with aviation fuel, stocks of bombs and the necessary grubby mechanics

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: F35 A, B & C models

          Plus you don't need a deck, just tow the sea-planes behind the "carrier" on a rope.

        2. batfink Silver badge

          Re: F35 A, B & C models

          Good god man - don't forget the gin!

    2. David M

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      The F35B isn't quite VTOL as, unlike the Harrier, it cannot take off vertically - it needs a short airstrip, or an even shorter airstrip plus a ramp, as used on the Queen Elizabeth. It is able to land vertically, though.

      1. Ken G Bronze badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        I think it's capable but not with full load, hence the skijump

      2. eldakka Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        STOVL is the term.

      3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        It is able to land vertically, though.

        Meh. Even Concorde could do that. Once.

      4. AA Cunningham

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        "The F35B isn't quite VTOL as, unlike the Harrier, it cannot take off vertically"(sic)

        Incorrect. SOP is to perform a short rolling takeoff but the B can indeed take off vertically even though there was no KPP requiring it.

    3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      This incident sounds like arresting gear failure. What with deck crew sustaining injuries. An arresting cable can do this. Or the tailhook may have broken and parts gone flying.

      It's not really fair to put this on the F-35 since thatis all pretty well established technology.

    4. AA Cunningham

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      F-35A is CTOL - Conventional Take Off and Landing

      F-35B is STOVL - Short Take Off Vertical Landing - there was no KPP for the JSF to be able to perform a vertical takeoff, even though the X-35B executed 18, while the X-32B performed zero, during the fly off

      F-35C is CATOBAR - Catapult Assisted Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery

      1. Stratman

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        Or more bluntly, the F-35 is FUBAR

      2. Charlie Stross

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        A video of the landing accident leaked yesterday (confirmed by the US Navy):

        https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/01/28/navy-confirms-video-and-photo-posted-social-media-show-f-35c-crash-aboard-carl-vinson.html

        There appears to be some instability as the F-35C is on final approach, then it throttles up and there's a loud thump right at the end of the sequence.

        One possibility is a failure of JPALS, the automated approach and landing system: another is that the arrester wire snapped when the plane hooked it -- if that happened the plane was going into the drink whatever happened, which would explain the ejection and the deck hand injuries.

        1. David Hicklin

          Re: F35 A, B & C models

          "another is that the arrester wire snapped when the plane hooked it -- if that happened the plane was going into the drink whatever happened"

          I though the idea was to keep full throttle on until they stopped so that a "miss" would be a go around - unless you are saying that a catch - slow then snap would have slowed the plane down to much

    5. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      The 'B' variant exists because the USMC (and many other users) really like the Harriers ability to operate from anywhere their helicopters can.

      It certainly cannot do that. Harriers can make a real mess of the surface underneath them when they do vertical take off.

      Chunks of badly maintained tarmac were often seen migrating around airfields in the days when Harriers displayed.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        Ok, No. The Harrier wasn't able to operate in a paddy field either hence the SOP of using metal matting for the improvised pads where ground integrity wasn't deemed good enough to operate from.

        My underlying point is that the Harrier can operate from places that almost no other fixed wing aircraft can, let alone a combat jet.

        Here's how it's done for real.

        https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/san-carlos-fob/

    6. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: F35 A, B & C models

      The old Harrier showed it could land in far worse conditions by arriving alongside the centre of the ship and side stepping onto the deck slowly.

      It could do that, at the expense of mission range because it had to reserve a lot of fuel for the manoeuvre .

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: F35 A, B & C models

        Oh yes, Full VTOL operations hammered the range available.

  5. Mayday
    Coat

    They could always just ask for it back

    They could always ask Mr Li and co to give it back if they find it first, they've tried that before.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/12/world/meast/iran-us-drone/index.html

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pirate

    Sunk costs

    Dry it out and flog it to an ally.

    Scott Morrison is stupid enough to buy it.

    1. Woza
      Joke

      Re: Sunk costs

      Maybe it can be a stand-in until we get the new submarines...

    2. ShadowSystems

      Re: Sunk costs

      Maybe we can dry it out & mount it out front of a Tesco's with a change box for use as a coin-operated kiddie ride like the mechanical pony, fire truck, or spaceship? I'd happily ride it for a fiver! =-D

      *Wanders off making hand zoomy, lips flubbering airplane noises & pretending I'm a Sopwith Camel out hunting the Red Baron*

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Sunk costs

        May be Vanguard Storage (no connection etc) can use it to replace their Hunter on the A40?

    3. druck Silver badge

      Re: Sunk costs

      We had a dried out Harrier at RAF Cosford for engineering training. That one had run out of water needed for engine cooling during the hover alongside the ship, suffered an engine surge and quickly got a lot more water.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Sunk costs

        See one standing guard outside Wittering every time I go up the A1.

  7. Cragganmore

    I always thought the South China Sea was fairly shallow - and it is very shallow near the coastal regions, but some areas in the middle basin go down to +4,000m. That's some serious salvage operation to lift that back to the surface... assuming they can find it in the first place! I assume they glide quite well under water and travel a fair distance as it sinks. Maybe they should start fitting air bags!

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      From what I read elsewhere, that's more or less the issue here.

      The nearest US salvage ship capable of trying to hook it back is about 10 days away from it, and the batteries in the transponder won't last that long.

      So by the time they get there, the thing will have stopped calling out and it's going to be a basic game of hide and seek at quite a depth. And then the fun comes of actually getting it back on deck.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Perhaps each carrier should have a salvage vessel in permanent attendance.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Or perhaps their toys could be tied on with bits of string like children's mittens ?

      2. Tromos

        Irrelevant how far away recovery capability is. As long as they have something closer that can listen to the transponder and get a location before the batteries run out.

    2. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Seems clear to me the only thing the F-35 needs is amphibious capability.

      Set it up like Bond's Lotus Esprit. You could call it a stealth fighter sub, or maybe a stealth tub?

      1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

        Maybe it's an experiment to develop a the new anti-UFO defence network.

        https://ufoseries.fandom.com/wiki/SkyDiver

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      MH 370

      May be they'll find MH370 whilst looking for this

    4. AA Cunningham

      The Navy recovered a MH-60S off of Okinawa back in March of 2021 from a depth of 19,075 feet. It was lost in January of 2020.

  8. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
    Coat

    Likelihoods

    ... the US is no more likely to let China fish up the F-35C wreckage than elect Xi Jinping as US president ...

    Given the last several Presidential choices - hell, maybe even quite a few previous choices? - the likelihood seems not all that low...

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Likelihoods

      Given the last several Presidential choices - hell, maybe even quite a few previous choices? - the likelihood seems not all that low...

      Luckily (or not, depending on your point of view), Xi Jinping is currently ineligible until the relevant section of the constitution of the USA is amended.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Likelihoods

        Boris is eligible, if he takes up his US citizenship again which he gave up for tax reasons. May be if he gets booted out from No.10, he'll go hookup with his old perma-tanned friend from Florida for a run at the White House

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Where's the video!!

    I'm sure there is video of this.... I want to see it!

  10. Jonathon Green
    Trollface

    I know this probably makes me A Very Bad Person, but…

    I really, really, really hope the Chinese get to assert dibs over the wreckage

    Because yeah, I know military secrets, strategic technology, National Security, Taiwan, Tibet, and all that stuff. And I know it probably makes me an incredibly bad person but I just think it would be really, really funny and then US reaction with the efforts to repair the PR issues, the scenery chewing rants from The Usual Suspects, and the sheer embarrassment would be utterly hilarious.

    If the world is going to hell in a hight tech stealth hand basket launched from a Nuclear Powered aircraft carrier then you might as well at least get a laugh out of it…

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Re: A Very Bad Person (Point Avoider)

      Deal me in.

      My retired Grandpa used to drive my Mom into the city when she worked nights, shift start at 5:00.

      The old boy would hustle to get Mom to work by 4:30, so he could park his car and sit at the train station to watch commuters step all over each other in the mad rush home.

      I am genetically predisposed to be this 'Very Bad Person's of which you speak.

    2. Chris G Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I know this probably makes me A Very Bad Person, but…

      I'm in! I am retired and like nothing more than watching the skateboarders come a cropper.

      Mine's the one with gravel in the pockets.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: I know this probably makes me A Very Bad Person, but…

      Kim Jong-un could sneek in and recover it

  11. Korev Silver badge
    Pirate

    Such a move is doubtful – the US is no more likely to let China fish up the F-35C wreckage than elect Xi Jinping as US president

    Well they got their hands on an American EP-3 a few years ago and appeared to have learnt quite a bit from it. The Chinese also managed to salvage a British submarine in complete secrecy too.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Yeah but this one's got a carrier group floating on top of it. Nothing is going to happen in complete secrecy.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Here's to hoping that they *are* staying on top of it and the subs prowl around... Do they at least have a general area where the pinger is?

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      That EP-3 didn't have much of a choice with its emergency landing... it's not like they fished it out of the pond! It (crash)landed in the lion's den.

      The US does have previous form for fishing stuff out of deep water though, sooooo...

      1. Jonathon Green

        …although not always with *complete* success…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Azorian

        …so, are we looking at a remake of Project Azorian with Elon Musk taking the Howard Hughes role, SpaceX as Glomar, and one of those drone ships as the Glomar Explorer? :-)

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Just don't upset the Great Old Ones

          1. Jonathon Green

            Yep. Clearly skirting a violation of articles 2 & 7 of the Benthic treaty with (depending on the weapons load and configuration of the F35 in question[1]) the option of an added side order of appendix 2…

            http://thecolvillegroup-archives.wikidot.com/azorian

            [1] I’m assuming here that The Black Chamber operates it’s own equivalent of 666 Squadron and its White Elephant flights…

  12. Jamesit
    Happy

    They washed it wrong.

  13. JWLong Bronze badge

    Go Ahead

    Fish it up, it's a piece of shit anyways.

  14. msobkow Silver badge

    Nothing like hi-tech. A hundred million dollars and the piece of junk can't even take off or land successfully.

    I sure hope Canada doesn't buy into that boondoggle; the Americans sure are pushing for us to buy their crappy jets. I'd much rather the European option (Saab, I believe.)

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      The Saab is a good jet, the sukov is a match for the f35 and you get a 3 for the price of 1. The Brits are finally growing some balls and going back into plane making, the tsrw of the 1950s would outclass the f35 in every way except it didn't crash. The Harrier didn't lose any operational time nor were any shot down in the Falklands. The yanks never could make a plane, even the Mustang needed a British engine to make it any good

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        I believe the Mustang was actually a British plane.

        The Brits designed it, taking into account the deficiencies of the pre-war designed fighters for the new role the air war had evolved into (esp. long-range escort), along with what they'd learned about high-speed combat (viz.you can almost disregard manoeuvrability -- most fighter-vs-fighter kills were high-speed surprise attacks, and running away beat defensive fighting, cf FW190) (thingummy the major Spitfire test pilot said the Mark V (IIRC) was the best plane to fly, but the later ones were better weapons, eventually vastly better (dull to fly though (by his standards))).

        The design was passed to the Americans for manufacturing. I believe subsequent mods were all American.

        1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

          The Mustang was designed by North American Aviation (i.e. by Americans) though to a British Specification.

          A good low-level tactical fighter initially, it became an exceptional (all-altitude) fighter when the British thought to stick a Merlin Engine in it.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            The P51 was designed by a German.

          2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            That'll learn me to listen to the old air-history buffs in Hampshire pubs around airshow times. Although... just now looking at wikipedia, even it shows distinct signs of a battle-of-narratives/-stories just among the yanks.

            I suspect both ends of the spectrum are exaggerating a little. More Brit input than the yanks are happy with; more Yank input than the brits are happy with. But it does look as if the brit history buffs are over-egging it more than the yanks.

            *shrug* Usual story with history -- if you're not reading primary sources, you're getting massive spin. And you have to remember the primary sources are spun, too. As is personal recollection.

            Thanks for the nudge.

      2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

        A number of Harriers were lost (shot down) during the Falklands war, though all to ground-to-air fire.

        None were shot down during air-to-air combat. However, that is at least in part due to the operational limits imposed on the Argentine air force, i.e. the endurance of their fighters operating from the mainland.

        None of which is to dispute that the Harrier was an exceptionally good aeroplane.

        I assume tsrw refers to TSR-2? Very high tech, seemingly very capable, very expensive, very 1950's, very few built (prototypes only 2? 3? something like that) and none entered service

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          > air-to-air combat

          If you're interested, the Sunday Times (UK) had a big piece re a Falklands action where brit shot down argie. Both pilots simply wrote their experience of the action, themselves. So just 2 first-person accounts side by side over a full broadsheet page or two (and ISTR a map/flightpaths too?). Extremely interesting and about as accurate a view of it as you're going to get. Notable for the very different "thinking patterns" of the two pilots, or at least writing patterns.

          If you're looking to hunt it down, it might be easier to ring them directly so they can use their own custom internal search engine. Re date of publication... ah now... I think it was late-middish '90s ('96-98?) or else it would have been early-to-mid noughties. Probably. I'm leaning towards 90s from a vague memory of my then-furniture :)

    2. Ken G Bronze badge

      Saab Grifins are great BUT following their F-104 experiences the Canadians ruled that they would only buy twin engined aircraft for operations over ice. Dassault Rafale is probably next best in terms of bang per tooney.

  15. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Why not

    Why not build fighter jets that fly? The Harrier is a good one.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why not

      The Harrier is more than 50 years old.

      It would have no chance against a cloud of 21st century AI controlled hypersonic missiles all able to manoeuvre faster than any manned aircraft

      1. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Re: Why not

        If you're sending a "cloud" of hypersonic, AI-controlled missiles after a Harrier, you're spending far more money on those missiles than your enemy spent on the Harrier and its pilot.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Why not

          Only if you're paying US/UK military industrial complex rates.

          If you are buying them from Alibaba like the Chinese govt...

      2. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: Why not

        You'll have to explain how the F-35 would survive the exact same threat?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Why not

          >You'll have to explain how the F-35 would survive the exact same threat?

          That's the joke

    2. AA Cunningham

      Re: Why not

      Plenty of Harriers and Harrier IIs ended up in the drink flying onto and off of boats usually due to inflight failures of the Pegasus.

  16. AA Cunningham

    yellow journalism

    "attributed to deck crew failing to remove a critical blanking cover."(sic)

    An unsubstantiated rumor started by a hack masquerading as a journalist at the Sun being perpetuated by the ignorant.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The should have upgraded the Harrier ..

    although I am guessing it was to "un American".

    Not quite sure how the "lost" the aircraft ? Surely the second it plopped you drop anchor (or whatever*) and mark the spot until your rescue crews arrive ?

    *I'm not sailor, but GPS to 6 digits should be enough to record the location ?

    1. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge

      Re: The should have upgraded the Harrier ..

      >>*I'm not sailor, but GPS to 6 digits should be enough to record the location ?

      The last location it was known to be... on the surface.

      It was largely intact and, with nice expensive wings like it has, probably has quite a range gliding, underwater, towards the bottom... up to 4km or so below the surface

    2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

      Re: The should have upgraded the Harrier ..

      They did.

      The original Harrier became for the Americans the AV-8A.

      The development of the Harrier (GR3 for the RAF / AV-8A for the USMC) to the Harrier GR5 (/GR7/GR9) / Harrier II (AV-8B) was driven to a significant extent by the US rather than the UK. Because, well you know, money.

      Given the Harrier entered service around 1970, it had pretty much reached the end of it's credible front-line life.

    3. msobkow Silver badge

      Re: The should have upgraded the Harrier ..

      I'd also think something like that would have an untraceable homing beacon built into that $100M+ price tag, rather than a Facebook feed option... :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just blow it up and write it off..

    Even if they were to fish it out at this point, it’s ruined and only good for recycling parts. If they are that concerned about others getting the tech, just destroy it.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Expect a lot of subs in that sea right now, turning around the reck, some trying to extract information, some trying to block the former to do it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You'd have thought

    they'd have fitted it with something that did go "BANG" if it encountered a specific set of environmental factors.

    Like being underwater and out of contact with the mothership for <x> hours.

    I thought of it, and I'm stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You'd have thought

      Don't give Apple any more ideas!

      "Ah, so your iPhone fell in the swimming pool and activated the protection mechanism, lest it be found by a non-Apple user? You certainly wouldn't want that to happen, would you? That's quite all right, we can sell you a replacement. No, I'm very sorry, AppleCare doesn't cover this sort of incident, nor the repair to the swimming pool…"

  21. Outski Silver badge
    Pint

    Couldn't they...

    ... have just built a better Harrier?

    After all, the USMC bloody loved them, dogfights are mostly a thing of the past, but the Harriers did pretty well dogfighting in the South Atlantic.

    Or is it just a case of Boeing/Lockheed pork-barrelling and being twenty years behind existing thinking?

    These pages really miss Lewis Page sometimes....

    ----> for LP, if I ever bump into him

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022