Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vietnamese fighter jet goes missing along South China Sea coast - Update

A Russian-made Vietnamese fighter jet was missing after disappearing off the radar during a training flight along the central part of the country's South China Sea coastline, a military official said.

The Sukhoi SU-30 MK2 was flying 30-40 km off the coast of Nghe An province next to China's Hainan island when it went missing, said Senior Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, the deputy armed forces chief of staff. "We haven't found the jet yet, we are still looking," he told Reuters.
The missing SU-30 MK2 fighter-bomber was one of 32 in use by Vietnam. Fighter jets are on its shopping list as it oversees its biggest military buildup in four decades. Vietnam has been in talks with Western and U.S. arms manufacturers towards boosting its air force with jets, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft.
Its options expanded following last month's lifting of a U.S. lethal arms embargo on a former enemy Washington is eager to turn into its newest Asian ally.

One pilot has been found in waters off the South China Sea. Both pilots ejected and landed within sight of each other. The search continues for the second pilot.