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US fighter jet crashes in Libya

An American jet has crashed in Libya, but US officials insisted it was not shot down.

The US military said both crew members on board the F-15 Strike Eagle ejected from the aircraft and sustained minor injuries.

A spokesman said the crew had been safely recovered.

He added that the plane may have suffered a mechanical problem.

The F-15E Strike Eagle is described by Boeing, its manufacturer, as “a superior next generation multi-role strike fighter”.

It is the backbone of the US Air Force (USAF) and made its first flight in 1986.

The latest advanced avionics systems gives the Strike Eagle the capability to “perform air-to-air or air-to-surface missions at all altitudes, day or night, in any weather”, Boeing boasts.

In April 2001, Boeing received a contract for a further ten F-15E aircraft for the USAF, bringing the total to 227.

The first production model of the F-15E was delivered to the US military in April 1988. The 'Strike Eagle', as it was dubbed, and first saw active service the following year.

Its maximum speed is twice the speed of sound and it has a digital threat warning system. Its 23,000lb arsenal includes air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.

The planes are expected to be safe for operational used until at least 2035.

Since 2001 USAF F-15E aircraft have been almost exclusively used for close air support.

In addition to the United States, Korea and Singapore, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israeli forces also have F15s.

© Press Association