On July 8, 2022, an F-18 Super Hornet was swept out from the flight deck of USS Harry S. Truman, causing a 60-million-dollar aircraft to sink at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.
A Rare Incident
On July 8, 2022, a strange incident happened. An F-18 Super Hornet was blown away from the USS Harry S. Truman’s flight deck.
A US combat aircraft had not been blown off the deck of an operational carrier since the mid-1990s, and numerous protocols and enforced rules on the flight deck have prevented these kinds of accidents for nearly 30 years.
Salvaging Lost Warplanes At Sea
As global tensions were taking place between the US, China, and Russia, the US made it a priority to salvage the warplanes lost at sea.
According to Steven Wills, a naval historian, and researcher, “It’s not a simple salvage. There could be a race out there. You can reverse engineer it. Historically, some of our friends have been really good about that.”
The US quickly prepared an operation to extract the sunken F-18 at the bottom of the ocean.
Although restoring the airframe of the sunken wreck might not be possible, the technology inside the plane might be worth it for the United States’ enemies.
For that risk alone, the US is willing to go to great lengths, and even risk the lives of specialized divers and engineers just to prevent American technology to fall into the hands of their global rivals.
Into the Depths
But even after just a few weeks under the ocean, the conditions of the wreck were hard to believe. Many were surprised by the images of the warplane, which seemed devastated and torn apart.
The wreck was taken to a military base in Europe to aid the investigation of why it sank. Above all, recovering it meant that no military faction would be able to claim the technology and uncover its secrets.