F-35 crash: Joint UK-US recovery operation underway

An investigation into the cause of the incident is running alongside a race to retrieve the valuable airframe.

A joint operation is underway, to retrieve the wreck of an F-35B stealth jet after it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday.

The US are now working with the UK to locate and retrieve the valuable aircraft - some experts suggesting a race is on with adversaries.

It comes as alongside an ongoing investigation into why the uninjured pilot had to eject shortly after take-off from UK aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

During the joint search, the US-operated Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle, or CURV-21, could be crucial.

Capable of operating in 97% of the world’s seas, the technology can dive 20,000-feet deep and returning to surface with items weighing up to 2,000 pounds.

Russian submarines and surface vessels frequently use the sea lanes near where the jet crashed, but former Royal Navy commander Tom Sharpe says the chance of another group beating the US and UK to the wreck is "basically zero".