Shocking footage appears to show £100m Marham jet crashing off carrier

Pilots will be carrying out night flying exercises in the F35 Lightning Picture: Ian Burt

Shocking video footage has shown the moment an F-35 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. - Credit: Archant

Shocking footage appearing to show the moment an F-35 from RAF Marham crashes off the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has been posted on social media.

The footage appears to show the £100mm aircraft slowing down as it approaches the aircraft carrier's ski jump. Just before the plane topples into the water, the pilot is seen ejecting.

Shortly after the aircraft disappears from view, a parachute can be seen floating towards the water. The footage appears to have been recorded from one of the carrier's own surveillance cameras.

An F-35 jet crashed soon after take-off earlier this month while the carrier was conducting flying operations in the Mediterranean.

In a statement on Monday night, the MoD said it was aware of the video but added it was too soon to comment on the potential cause of the crash.

The investigation is continuing as work continues to recover the aircraft.

Following the incident, former soldier Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Commons Defence Select Committee, said he had "many questions" about the crash.

One theory is that the crash may have been caused by an engine cover being mistakenly left on the jet.

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There is also now likely to be another investigation into how this sensitive video was released online.

Built by the US firm Lockheed Martin, the UK's F-35s are flown by pilots from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.