Search for US Air Force jet

The US Air Force has confirmed it has lost contact with the a F-16 fighter jet that left an air base in Italy earlier today and the status of the pilot is "unknown".

Live updates

Report: Coastguard asks cargo ships to help in jet search

The Press Association has reported that an Italian coastguard plane is involved in the search mission for a missing F-16 jet.

Rescue boats are also involved, as well as three cargo ships, that were asked to help out with the search.

U.S. F-16, similar to the missing jet, can be seen here flying towards Italy to join with the Italian air force in a training mission Credit: U.S. Air Force

Commander Cosimo Nicastro of the Italian coastguard said: "The visibility is already poor because it is night, but there is also sleet."

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Report: Nine and half mile search for missing jet

Search teams are working under the assumption that a missing F-16 fighter jet from the Aviano Air Base could have crashed in the Adriatic, the Associated Press reports.

This F-16 Fighting Falcon is similar to the missing jet. Credit: Aviano Air Base

The aircraft was performing a training mission over the sea when the pilot lost contact with the base.

Contact was lost at approximately 8pm (19:00 GMT) last night, Italian aircraft and ships were dispatched to look for the missing jet and pilot.

The Associated Press has reported that the jet was not carrying weapons, and that the search covered waters off a nine and half mile stretch of coast between Cervia and Cesenatico.

Search continues for US fighter jet in Italy

Military officials are coordinating search and rescue efforts after losing communication with an Aviano F-16 fighter jet after it left an Italian air base.

Group commander Colonel David Walker has issued a statement on the Aviano Air Base website.

The search for and rescue of our pilot is our top priority.

We want to assure the family and friends of the lost Airman that we are doing everything we can for this effort.

– Col. David W. Walker, 31st Operations Group commander

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