USMC F-35B Lightning Crashes Near MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina: Pilot Ejects

Military plane crashes in Beaufort County SC pilot ejects safely

Military plane crashes in Beaufort County SC pilot ejects safely

The local County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the crash and said it happened at around 11:45am local time (4.45pm UK). "The pilot safely ejected and is being examined by medical personnel", Marine Corps officials said in a statement.

The Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is asking the public to avoid the area of the crash while the investigation continues.

A military plane has crashed in coastal SC, authorities said Friday.

A US F-35 fighter was completely destroyed in a crash while training Friday, officials said.

The statement said that the jet belonged to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

The air station's website says it is home to five F/A-18 squadrons and one squadron of F-35Bs, according to The Herald.

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The Pentagon plans to purchase more than 2,600 of the aircraft that have been tailored to the needs of the three services. The Marine version of the aircraft includes a downward facing ducted fan that allows for short takeoffs and vertical landings.

On Thursday, the USA carried out its first operation using the F-35B against Taliban targets in Afghanistan, four months after the Israeli military announced it had used the F-35A to carry out two separate strikes.

Few details were released about the airstrike other than it was "in support of ground clearance operations". The F-35 program, the most expensive weapon in USA military history, has been marred by delays and cost overruns and other mechanical issues.

Unit costs vary, but the price tag of F-35s is around $100 million each. Estimates have been that the overall cost of the program will be about $350 billion.

Reuters reported on September 28, that Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have an $11.5 billion contract to produce F-35 planes, lowering the price by more than 5 percent. Marine F35-B will cost $115.5 million and the Navy F-35C will cost $107.7 million.

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