That would be awkward

My money would be on China getting there first.

The US military is desperately trying to recover the wreckage of a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter which crashed over the Pacific yesterday amid fears China and Russia could beat them to it. Parts of the tail of the world’s most sophisticated stealth jet have already been found after it disappeared off the radar 85 miles east of Misawa, Japan during a training mission.

Eight ships and seven aircraft,including a U.S. Navy P-8 Orion maritime patrol plane, are looking for traces of the jet that is believed to have sunk to 5,000ft. The pilot of the aircraft is still missing.

But experts today warned that Russia and China could also be trying to get their hands on the aircraft to discover its secrets.

Tom Moore, a former senior professional staff member at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted: ‘There is no price too high in this world for China and Russia to pay to get Japan’s missing F-35, if they can. Big deal.’

‘Bottom line is that it would not be good,’ retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told Business Insider.

It is believed Russia and China could be using their advanced submarines to scour the ocean floor in search of the jet in order to steal vital technology on board. And experts have warned that parts of the jet could easily be replicated if they do recover the wreckage before US or Japanese search teams.

On the other hand, given the apparent shortcomings of the F-35, the bigger fear might be the Chinese or Russians learning that there is no reason to replicate any parts of the jet. It’s interesting how this storyline tends to track the plot of A Mind Programmed/The Programmed Man.