US Marines Corps’ (USMC) 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing has stated that a F-35B fighter jet collided with an aerial refuelling tanker. 

The collision occurred at 16:00 local time. ABC News reported that the crash happened over Imperial County in California.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said that the F-35B jet pilot ejected and was undergoing treatment while the crew on the KC-130J refuelling aircraft had a safe landing.  

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing tweeted: “The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe.  

“The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.” 

The crash is currently being investigated to determine the cause.  

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The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) has been developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.  

The aircraft is being built in three different variants that are being procured by the US military and several other countries. 

The F-35B is a short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant designed to operate from a range of air-capable ships. 

In 2015, a USMC F-35B Lightning II completed its first short take-off and vertical landing check flight at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US. 

It reached initial operational capability (IOC) on 31 July 2015. 

In January, the US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) confirmed that a Bombardier E-11A aircraft crashed in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.