Mystery kamikaze: a Japanese pilot took the F-35 to unprecedented depths, hiding from Russian

Mystery kamikaze: a Japanese pilot took the F-35 to unprecedented depths, hiding from Russian

The tragedy with the crashed 9 April 2019 the F-35A, the air forces of Japan became a sensation for a while, replaced by a number of other world events, including the tragic. However, all this time, active and secret searches of the fuselage of the aircraft at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, over which the experimental flight was carried out, continue. In order to be the first to get to the body of a fifth-generation fighter, Japan itself is primarily interested in establishing the causes of the disaster, and the United States, as the main developer of this air machine, does not want its numerous secrets to fall into the hands of competitors, or, so to say, potential opponents, in the face of Russia and China, who also have the technology of production of fifth-generation fighters. The latter, presumably, also takes part in the search, which is not advertised.

Given the fact that communication with the pilot was interrupted at 28 minutes of flight, the F-35 during this time could move away from the Northern coast of the Japanese island of Honshu (Misawa airbase, where the 35th fighter wing of the Pacific air force is based) for a considerable distance. It’s certainly not Japanese territorial waters and presence in the area of the alleged crash site of the fighter ships and ships of other countries is not forbidden. In Japan itself, the search operation involves five warships and three coast guard ships, several patrol aircraft. It is known that the United States chartered a private ship «van Gogh», designed for deep-sea operations and equipped with cranes capable of lifting loads from a depth of 3000 meters. Now joined the search and the latest Japanese research vessel «Kaimei», equipped with sonar, magnetometers and Autonomous unmanned submarine capable of sinking to a depth of three kilometers to explore the seabed. It is assumed that the f-35 crashed on the water can be at a depth of about 1500 meters, where it is inaccessible to conventional submarines. It is also unknown the exact place of the fall of the fighter, although the Japanese side claimed to have found its wreckage (which is not specified), which could be ordinary ocean debris dumped, for example, from the American aircraft carrier «Carl Vinson» (Carl Vinson), which last year took place here to the shores of the Korean Peninsula. Why is not made clear in the causes of the crash and the pilots of other aircraft — it is known that in developing techniques of aerial combat on April 9 involved four fighters. They didn’t record the loss of the colleague and a place of falling. Nevertheless, the search operation is carried out albeit in a fairly extensive, but clearly limited area of the Pacific ocean. Attracting significant forces, including research vessels, Japan is clearly in a hurry to find the fighter before Russia and China, so that they do not get top-secret technologies — it is assumed that even after hitting the water, the F-35 remained intact and its fuselage survived, and therefore is valuable for study.

What is still largely concerned about the Japanese themselves, is the fact of the disappearance of the fighter from the radar (here we can assume that the pilot himself «turned on stealth») and the fact that the pilot did not give any signals of danger or threats. There is also some reputational damage — crashed F-35A was the first aircraft assembled by the Japanese Corporation «Mitsubishi Heavy Industries» (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), which involves the production of about 190 aircraft of this series. And the Japanese want to make sure that this expensive aircraft ($100 million per unit) is safe to fly.

The current catastrophe with the fifth-generation fighter is not the first during the operation of the F-35 — a year earlier, such an American aircraft crashed during an experimental flight in South Carolina. And in the Japanese press remembered that emergency situations with these combat aircraft, which led to emergency landings, were carried out seven times. The reason was the abnormal operation of on-Board equipment. Of the 13 delivered by the air force of self-defense of Japan from the USF-35, 5 fighters had to eliminate the identified problems. At the same time, the Japanese military command claims that there were no technical problems with the F-35 during their operation, trying to hide the incidents against the background of the rearmament of its aircraft for this fifth-generation fighter. The current tragedy, too, was classified as secret, and the flights of all Japanese F-35 suspended until the causes of the disaster.

Tokyo has not addressed either Moscow or Beijing with an official request for assistance in conducting a search operation, although special deep-sea facilities are available in these countries. For example, the Russian research deep-sea inhabited vehicle Mir-2 (depth of immersion up to 6 kilometers), which is based on the vessel «Academician Mstislav Keldysh». (Mir-1 is now an exhibit at the Museum of the World ocean in Kaliningrad.) «Worlds», for example, examined sunken in the Norwegian sea submarine «Komsomolets» (depth 1700 meters) and the submarine «Kursk», they made 17 dives to the transatlantic steamer «Titanic», which lies on the ocean floor at a depth of 3,750 meters. In addition to the «World», Russia could provide a deep-sea vehicle «Consul», which is able to sink underwater at 6,270 meters and has a vertical speed of 3 miles per hour. As part of the Russian Navy, there are also deep-sea rescue vehicles as-30 and as-34, although the depth of their immersion does not exceed 1000 meters, with a crew of three people, these mini-submarines can be under water for 120 hours. Another new deep-sea rescue vehicle is the AC-40 Bester-1, which is on Board the Pacific fleet vessel Igor Belousov (home port — Vladivostok).

But applications, as they say, have not been received and Japan because of the special secrecy of the F-35 prefers to do when searching for an aircraft on the ocean floor on its own. Moreover, it jealously watches finding in the area of search for foreign vessels. These Russian deep-sea vehicles cannot operate when diving on their own, they need support vessels that can not go unnoticed on the surface. At the same time, as it seems, Russian intelligence cannot remain indifferent to the use of such a chance to get the secrets of the fifth generation fighter and learn all its strengths and weaknesses. How?

It is clear that combat swimmers are excluded, but there are submarines. And not the submarines themselves, the maximum depth of immersion of which does not exceed 500-600 meters (the mentioned submarine «Komsomolets» «dived» in 1985 at a record 1030 meters), but those devices that can be placed in its womb. Launched recently on the water submarine «Belgorod», which is the carrier of unmanned «Poseidon», while in such reconnaissance and search operations cannot participate. But there is a submarine «Moscow region» and a diesel boat «Sarov», specially converted to move deep-sea robotic vehicles and control them. Such as, for example, deep-sea nuclear devices such as «Losharik» (not carrying weapons) or Autonomous deep-sea stations «Halibut» and «Nelma».AC-12, known as «Losharik» (externally, the device is somewhat similar to a bunch of balloons), although called a deep-sea station, in fact, is a deep-sea nuclear submarine capable of diving to 6000 meters, and used for special operations. Americans consider it a «sabotage device» designed to find and destroy the underwater infrastructure — primarily the main communication cables and tracking systems for submarines. NATO experts attribute to the «Losharik» and the possibility of movement along the seabed on retractable wheels that almost completely eliminates the possibility of detection of acoustic and magnetometric means. Theoretically, if found at the bottom of the F-35, the Russian s-12 can either destroy it or transport it to another area. And here to the aid can come the submarine «Nelma» or «Halibut», which among other things are designed to collect from the bottom of the wreckage of ships, aircraft, and satellites submerged in the ocean.

We can assume that on the bottom of the Pacific ocean already «roam» Loshariki» in search of the crashed Japanese fighter. The probability of meeting the Russian «submarine moon Rover» Chinese «colleagues» is unlikely — in spite of a considerable dip of the deep «Tszyaolun» or «Khilona-3» (depth from 6 to over 10 kilometers), they are submersibles and special autonomy do not apply. However, the Chinese are probably making their own attempts to find the F-35.

Dana Tessen

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