n F-35A fighter operated by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) reportedly made an emergency landing during a training session Tuesday due to avionic system issues.
The radar-evading jet made the belly landing on a runway at an air base in Seosan, 151km south of Seoul, at 12:51 p.m. after the issues caused the landing gear to momentarily malfunction, officials were quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency earlier today.
The pilot walked away unscathed.
It apparently marks the first known belly landing ever reported since the U.S. began exporting F-35A fighters to foreign countries, an informed military source said.
The Air Force has so far received over 30 F-35As. It is initiating a joint investigation with Lockheed Martin to determine what went wrong with the jet. Officials added that the ROKAF will suspend all of its F-35A fighters pending the probe.