“Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35B, confirmed the jet’s $100m price tag to the BBC. Meanwhile, another F-35B, flying concurrently, safely returned to its base. Notably, in 2018, a similar incident led to the temporary grounding of the entire US F-35 fleet.”
PEGASUS REPORTERS, LAGOS | SEPTEMBER 19, 2023
Following the disappearance of the US military aircraft, $100m F-35B stealth fighter jet in South Carolina on Sunday afternoon, authorities are soliciting public assistance for its retrieval. The pilot, currently unidentified, ejected safely from the aircraft and is now recovering in a hospital.
It will be recalled that the jet was allegedly left on autopilot, implying it could have remained airborne for an undetermined period. Search efforts are currently concentrated around Lakes Moultrie and Marion, north of Charleston, based on the aircraft’s last reported position.
South Carolina’s Republican congresswoman, Nancy Mace, took to X, the successor to Twitter, expressing incredulity over the missing jet. She posed the question: “How is there not a tracking device and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?”
Given its stealth capabilities, the F-35B is designed to remain undetectable to enemy radars.
In an online post, Joint Base Charleston communicated the ongoing search, urging public collaboration and for anyone with potential leads to get in touch.
Flightradar24, a flight tracking service, shared visuals of multiple aircraft actively searching the area. In a statement, the Marine Corps acknowledged limited knowledge on the matter, pledging a thorough investigation.
Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35B, confirmed the jet’s $100m price tag to the BBC. Meanwhile, another F-35B, flying concurrently, safely returned to its base. Notably, in 2018, a similar incident led to the temporary grounding of the entire US F-35 fleet.
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