PHOENIX An F-16 fighter jet crashed in rough terrain in remote central Arizona on Thursday, U.S. Air Force officials said.
There was no immediate word on the fate of the pilot of the Fighting Falcon aircraft that went down at about 8:45 a.m. local time near Baghdad, the officials said in a statement.
Military officials and local authorities launched a search-and-rescue operation on Thursday morning, the officials said.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and a military panel has been established to conduct an investigation.
The $25 million jet is assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, officials said. The crash occurred about 100 miles northwest of the base.
The base is responsible for training pilots on F-16 and F-35 fighter jets.
(Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington D.C.; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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