US Africa Command confirms a Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle crashed overnight in Libya becoming the first coalition aircraft lost while enforcing a no-fly-zone since 19 March.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but US forces also say both crew members ejected after the F-15E "experienced equipment malfunction".
Both crew members ejected over rebel-held territory, which generally extends east of the city of Ajdabiya on the Mediterranean coast, and are safe.
The crash occurred as the coalition extended the no-fly-zone westward from Benghazi to as far as Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
Photo courtesy of US Air Force
Three US Air Force F-15Es from RAF Lakenheath have been committed to enforcing the no-fly-zone, along with a wide range of coalition partners, including French Rafales and Mirage 2000s, Canadian CF-18s, Danish F-16s, Spanish F/A-18s and British Tornados and Typhoons. Qatar also has committed a detachment of Mirage 2000-5s.
The coalition force is flying about 70-80 sorties daily, with the majority flown by non-US forces, Ham says.
The USAF also confirms that a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk flew in support of no-fly-zone operations before 21 March. No other unmanned aircraft systems from any country are acknowledged to have joined the operation.
Source: Flight International