F-35B jet crashes in South Carolina

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Military officials confirmed that it was a Marine Corps plane that has crashed, Bromage said. It is the first-ever crash of the high-cost stealth plane.

A military jet crashed in coastal South Carolina Friday, but the pilot was able to eject safely from the aircraft. Military officials and local police secured the island and asked people to stay away from the area. "More information will be provided as it becomes available".

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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Beaufort is a city on Port Royal Island which is located more than 200 miles away from the scene of the second crash in the north side of SC.

"It's a total loss", an unnamed Marines official told the AFP news agency. On Thursday, the Marines announced its first use in combat in Afghanistan.

Few details were released about the airstrike other than it was "in support of ground clearance operations".

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Unit costs vary, but the price tag of F-35s is around $100 million each.

The airstrike occurred in Afghanistan and involved a Marine F-35B "Lightning II" that had taken off from the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Essex, which was operating in the East Arabian Sea.

Launched in the early 1990s, the F-35 programme is considered the most expensive weapons system in USA history, with an estimated cost of some US$400 billion and a goal to produce 2,500 aircraft in the coming years.

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It also comes the same day that manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced lower prices for the 11th batch of aircraft.

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