F-35 fighter jet suffers first crash in South Carolina
The crash occurred near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The pilot ejected before the crash and is being evaluated for injury, according to a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps.
The statement said the cause of the crash is under investigation.
The incident marks the first time that an F-35 fighter jet, which costs more than 100 million U.S. dollars, has crashed.
The crash came one day after the first airstrike conducted by a U.S. F-35 fighter jet over Afghanistan, and hours after the Pentagon announced that it had awarded Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of F-35, with a new batch of F-35s.
The F-35 stealth jet has three variants - F-35A, F-35B, and F-35C -designed for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy respectively. The F-35B is the only model with short take-off and vertical landing abilities. ■