WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Navy said Wednesday it has sent a P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and a guided-missile destroyer in search of a Japanese F-35A jet that crashed off the coast of Japan.
One P-8A has joined Japanese aircraft and vessels in the search and rescue operation overnight, while the USS Stethem destroyer is "sailing to the search area now," the statement said.
The F-35A lost radar contact approximately 85 miles (137 km) east of Misawa Air Base 30 minutes after taking off around 7 p.m. (1000 GMT) Tuesday. The base is in northern Japan near the city of Aomori.
Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya confirmed Wednesday that the F-35A fighter jet that went missing during a training exercise a day earlier over the Pacific had crashed.
There are currently 12 F-35As deployed at the Misawa base, which have been temporarily grounded.
Each F-35A comes with a price tag of more than 90 million U.S. dollars.