LONDON – A Royal Air Force Typhoon jet crashed into the sea off the British Atlantic coast on Saturday, and British officials said all three crew members were safely rescued.
The Typhoon, a high-performance jet used by the British Royal Air Force for anti-aircraft defense, left the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to statements from the Ministry of Defense. The craft had been deployed on a training mission that also included Typhoon jets from Royal Navy carrier HMS Illustrious.
The collision occurred off the coast of the seaside town of Lossiemouth, Scotland, northwest of the North Sea. The Ministry of Defense said “both aircraft are now seaworthy.” It did not indicate how the accident happened.
“It’s believed that one of the Typhoons went into the water and was recovered safely,” the ministry said. “The incident is now being treated as a non-operational incident.”
Aircraft accidents are rare in Britain, which lacks the large, highly skilled air forces of France, Germany and the United States.
The Typhoon is an advanced fighter plane manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The aircraft was first exported to other NATO countries in the 1980s, and is soon expected to be exported to Saudi Arabia, according to the Defense Department.
The Air Force is reportedly trying to buy more than 100 of the models, valued at tens of millions of dollars each.
The Tornados and Typhoon jets based at Britain’s Faslane naval base, located in northwestern Scotland, are often deployed to the Persian Gulf to carry out missions against Iranian missile and artillery batteries, according to the BBC.