Written by Staff Writer
RIO DE JANEIRO (CNN) — A Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon aircraft that crashed into the sea off the east coast of the United Kingdom late Friday was “effectively destroyed” by the air defence missile, a UK Ministry of Defense spokesman said.
The British Typhoon, which was carrying out flight practice in “enhanced control,” crashed into the sea off the former Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal at around 11:00 pm UK time (11 a.m. ET) near the town of Weymouth on England’s south coast.
The incident is now being investigated by the MOD Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), according to the British Navy, which added that the incident did not result in any fatalities.
It’s believed five people were in the aircraft at the time of the crash, but the Navy could not give any more information about their identities, nor where they are located at this stage.
In 2015, the British Typhoon successfully carried out a live-fire training exercise off the coast of England, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defense.
The RAF supports a multi-nation program to develop further air defense capabilities for NATO, with the Fleet Air Arm in particular taking part in exercises alongside NATO partner nations in recent years.
The British Royal Navy currently operates a single carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth (CVN 78), which was launched in October 2017 after 11 years of construction at BAE Systems’ Swanwick shipyard in Hampshire, England.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is capable of launching a total of 13,224 metric tons of fighter, attack, and strike aircraft, in addition to missiles and bombs, for missions across the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Gulf, and the Black Sea.
The carrier will join the Royal Navy’s fleet of 12 conventional aircraft carriers when it is put into service later this year.
In June, the carrier will take part in its first joint exercise with French Navy ships, the UK Ministry of Defense announced.