London and Washington are confident of finding the wreckage of the F-35 stealth fighter before Moscow

The F-35 stealth plane.

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Officials from Britain, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expressed their confidence yesterday that they will be able, before their adversary Russia, to find the wreckage of the stealth fighter "F-35B", which crashed last Wednesday, in the Mediterranean.

The stricken plane had taken off from aboard the British aircraft carrier "HMS Queen Elizabeth" before it fell into the sea, and before it fell, its pilot managed to jump out of it and survived.

Following the accident, NATO expressed its fear that Russia might find the fighter, and consequently put its hand on the highly advanced technology that distinguishes it.

But the highest-ranking American officer on board the British aircraft carrier, General Simon Doran, said, the day before yesterday, reassuring: "We will get it back first, I guarantee you that."

In turn, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, General Tim Radford, told reporters on board the carrier, which is sailing in the Mediterranean: "We are not worried about taking it back."

He added, "We are not worried because we are working on this matter at the moment. There was concern when the plane went down, but the pilot is fine, and this is the most important thing." He refused to reveal the details of the pilot's rescue operation.

For his part, Commander Steve Morehouse, who commands one of the nine warships involved in efforts to search for the plane, said, "The crash of the (F-35) is a truly unfortunate accident. This is a setback." And our confidence in it and the project has not been shaken.”

To date, the United Kingdom has received 21 American F-35B fighters, most of them operating on board the British aircraft carriers "Queen Elizabeth" and "Prince of Wales".

The "F-35" is a fifth-generation fighter, characterized in particular by the ability to vertically land and short takeoff, on board the British aircraft carrier "Queen Elizabeth".

• "F-35" is a fifth-generation fighter, especially characterized by the ability to vertically land and short takeoff, on board the British aircraft carrier "Queen Elizabeth".

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