US's $100 Million F-35 Fighter Suffers First Crash

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The pilot managed to safely eject and there were no injuries.

On the same day, the United States military said it carried out its first operation with the plane in Afghanistan.

A military jet a short distance from its base crashed in SC on Friday with the pilot ejecting safely and no one on the ground injured, authorities said.

Deputies say around 11:45 a.m., the plane went down near Clarendon Road and Joe Allen Drive in Grays Hill. The jet costs about $100 million.

No-one on the ground was hurt either in the crash.

In a statement to American media, the Marine Corps said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

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The Marine Corps described the crash as a Class A mishap, a serious incident involving more than $US2 million in damages or the destruction of the aircraft. The program has been criticized by some in Congress for testing problems, delays and cost overruns.

The Pentagon's deal with Lockheed Martin for 141 fighter jets comes amid persistent controversy over a weapons program that has become the most expensive the Defense Department has ever undertaken.

US President Trump has repeatedly praised the F-35, saying that the enemy "cannot see" it.

The F-35B is the most expensive of three variants of the F-35, which also include the F-35A conventional take-off and landing version, and the F-35C, used aboard aircraft carriers.

The fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet has been lauded as a "game-changer" by the Israeli military, not only for its offensive and stealth capabilities, but for its ability to connect its systems with other aircraft and form an information-sharing network.

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