The F-35C Joint Strike Fighter that encountered a “landing mishap” aboard the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was salvaged from the South China Sea. U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman confirmed this information to USNI News.
The U.S. 7th Fleet’s Task Force 75 and Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving pulled the jet up from a depth of approximately 3 800 m, according to the 7th Fleet. The teams used a CURV-21 — remotely operated deep ocean salvage vehicle — to heave the aircraft onto the diving support construction vessel Picasso.
“Ultimately, this deliberate approach resulted in the correct capabilities conducting recovery operations within 37 days of the incident. Given the unique challenges of this problem, and the unique technical capabilities that NAVSEA delivered, this was an aggressive and achievable timeline.” — Capt. Gareth Healy, commodore of Task Force 75 said.
The F-35C, assigned to the “Argonauts” of VFA-147 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA), was plucked from the floor of the South China Sea with Navy personnel aboard the offshore vessel DSCV Picasso, which had departed Okinawa on Feb. 23, according to the service.