BERLIN (Reuters) – The British Ministry of Defence is in close touch with U.S. officials and monitoring the situation after Japan grounded its F-35A fighter jets following the crash of a Japanese F-35 in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, a ministry spokesperson said.

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s F-35A stealth fighter jet, which Kyodo says is the same plane that crashed during an exercise on April 9, 2019, is seen at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki Minami factory in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo June 2017. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Britain, which has 17 F-35B model jets that can take off and land vertically, has not grounded its fleet, but is monitoring the situation closely.

“Safety is of the utmost