A BRITISH fighter jet from the HMS Queen Elizabeth has crashed into the sea during routine operations over the Mediterranean, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The incident happened at around 10am UK time on Wednesday.

The pilot was ejected and has returned safely to the ship.

Hostile action is not thought to have been involved and an investigation has been launched.

A spokesperson for the MoD said: “A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning. 

“The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The RAF F35 jet is thought to be in the sea and has yet to be recovered.

The F35s, estimated to be worth around £100 million each, are on board the £3 billion warship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The 65,000-tonne Royal Navy flagship is returning to the UK from its maiden deployment, which included exercises with the Indian military.