Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rescuers find wreckage of missing U.S. F-22 fighter jet

A rescue plane has discovered the wreckage of an U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet that went missing Tuesday night, the Elmendorf-Richardson airbase in Alaska said in a statement on Wednesday.

The fighter jet lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40 p.m. Alaska time Tuesday (04:40 GMT on Wednesday) while on a night-time training mission.

The crash site has been located at about 160 kilometers north of Anchorage. A rescue team is searching for a missing pilot, the airbase said in a statement.

F-22 is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology.

The $150-mln plane entered service with the USAF in 2005. Over 160 F-22s have been built by Lockheed Martin with projected goal of 187 aircraft. The export sale of the F-22 is prohibited by U.S. federal law.

The USAF already lost two F-22s – during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base in December 2004 and during a test flight near Edwards Air Force Base in March 2009.

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