2 Japanese Navy Helicopters Collide & Crash In The Pacific Ocean, 1 Dead 7 Missing

Helicopter
Image Credits: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force/Twitter

A terrible incident took place when two helicopters from the Japanese navy crashed during a training exercise at night, killing one crew member and leaving seven others missing.

The crash occurred in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo, near Torishima Island.

Defence Minister Minoru Kihara confirmed the dreadful incident with reporters and reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to rescue operations.

The helicopters involved in the incident were SH-60Ks from the Maritime Self-Defense Force, each with crew members. After the aircraft lost contact late Sunday, search and rescue operations began immediately.

Despite the deployment of 12 warships, seven aircraft, and support from the Japan Coast Guard, the whereabouts of the missing crew are unknown.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the two helicopters communicated before they crashed into the lake.

Recovery operations have already uncovered important pieces of evidence, such as a flight data recorder and fragments from both planes, which support the collision theory.

The SH-60K helicopters developed by Sikorsky and manufactured in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are versatile multi-mission aircraft designed particularly for anti-submarine warfare.

The training aimed to improve Japan’s defensive capabilities through regular drills involving warships, submarines, and Seahawk helicopters.

This tragic incident is yet another setback for Japan’s military, occurring only a year later after a tragic collision involving a Ground Self Defense Force UH-60 Blackhawk.

It also evokes the 2017 disaster involving a Japanese Navy SH-60J caused by human error, highlighting the inherent risks of military training exercises.

In response to this incident, the Defense Ministry has suspended all training flights for SH-60s until further notice.

The navy’s chief of staff, Adm.Ryo Sakai, highlighted the necessity of determining the cause of the crash and implementing preventive measures to avoid future occurrences.

As investigations and rescue operations continue, the nation sympathizes with the crew members impacted and their families and loved ones during this difficult time.

The crash inquiry will investigate all possible causes, such as weather, technological issues, and human error.

While this unfortunate incident has caused grief and tension, it also serves as an important reminder of the sacrifices made by military personnel to ensure national security.

Meanwhile, Japan’s determination to strengthen its defence capabilities remains unwavering despite regional security issues and escalating tensions.

Reference: Aljazeera, AP

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