A US fighter jet has crashed in a Libyan field with the two crew members on board forced to eject from the falling aircraft.
It’s claimed the F-15E Strike Eagle warplane came down after suffering a mechanical error with the US Air Force denying it had been shot down.
One of the crew members was quickly recovered by US personnel with the other in the process of being recovered.
The fighter jet is the first coalition aircraft to crash since operations began at the weekend.
It’s been rumoured a Libyan ‘Kamikaze’ pilot crashed his fighter jet into a command and control headquarters in the Libyan capital Tripoli, killing Colonel Gaddafi’s son Khamis Gaddafi.
The Telegraph has obtained images of the $31 million fighter jet, which appears to have been gutted by fire after smashing into a field in an unnamed location in Libya.
Launched in 1988, the F-15E Strike Eagle is a 19.4-metre long fighter jet capable of 1,875mph over range of 2,400 miles.
The US Air Force has 223 in its overall fleet.
In addition to the F-15E, the US has employed the use of its B-2 Spirit and F-16CJ Fighting Falcon aircraft since operations began in the north African country.
The B-2 bombers have led strikes on a variety of strategic targets over Libya with US fighter aircraft used to prevent enemy forces advancing on Libyan opposition troops.
Major General Margaret H. Woodward, Operation Odyssey Dawn Joint Force Air Component Commander, said: “Our bombers and fighters performed magnificently and we are fully behind protecting the innocent Libyan citizens while ensuring the safety of coalition aircraft.”
Meanwhile, UK forces continue to play a part in the operation with Eurofighter Typhoon jets from RAF Marham in Norfolk last night involved in their first ever combat mission, patrolling the country’s no-fly zone.
Picture Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon