A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter aircraft lost parts of its tail during a Jan. 8 training flight over eastern Japan. Bloomberg reports that aluminum components measuring 2 meters by 40 centimeters dropped from the airplane during a one-hour training mission near Hyakuri Air Base, but caused no injury or damage on the ground. In fact, the parts were not noticed as missing until the aircraft landed, the news report states, citing a JASDF spokesman. This spokesman said the loss of the parts wouldn’t lead to a crash. The cause of the mishap is under investigation. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries builds Japan’s F-15s under license with Boeing.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.