A US navy fighter jet, single-seat F/A-18E Super Hornet, crashed in southern California. The crash occurred near Naval Air Station China Lake, 113 miles east of Bakersfield, where the Navy conducts live-fire training.
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The pilot, who managed to safely eject, had taken off from Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings County. As per the social media post from the base, the plane “experienced a mishap” during routine flight training that resulted in the crash. There are reports suggesting the plane may have been carrying live munitions at the time of the mishap.
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, is one of the premier aviation and weapons research and development and test and evaluation facilities. The base hosts various types of aircraft from different units, visiting regularly for training as well as test activities.
The Super Hornet remains the backbone of the Navy’s carrier air wings. despite the entry of the F-35C into service in 2019. According to the Navy, there are more than 600 Super Hornets and Growlers (the electronic warfare version of the Super Hornet) in the fleet with no planned date for retirement.
Meanwhile, the US and China are inching close to war as the US Navy continues to undertake provocative missions in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. China has warned that it will defend the country’s territorial integrity while maintaining peace and stability in the region.