Authorities on Monday asked for the public’s help in locating an F-35 jet that went missing after a U.S. Navy pilot used an emergency parachute to eject from it Sunday afternoon in North Charleston, Carolina. South.
The pilot, unidentified, was aboard an F-35 from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. He was taken to a local medical center and was in stable condition Sunday evening, said Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman for Joint Base Charleston.
It was unclear why the pilot had to eject.
Based on the last known position of the aircraft, an F-35B Lightning II, the base was focusing on an area around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, Joint Base Charleston. said Sunday eveningadding that it was seek help from the public.
Authorities have asked anyone with information on the location of the missing plane to come forward with information.
The F-35B Lightning II is the variant used by the Marine Corps, a short takeoff and vertical landing version. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it carried out its first combat strikes for the Marine Corps in Afghanistan in 2018.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the Department of Defense’s most expensive weapons systems program, with estimates saying it will cost nearly $1.7 trillion to purchase, operate and maintain the aircraft and systems throughout its lifespan, the Government Accountability Office said in a statement. report released in May The cost of purchasing the Marine Corps jet has varied over the life of the program. The federal government said it was $70 million in 2012, and the Project on Government Oversight said it was $135 million in 2020.
John Ismay and Christine Hauser reports contributed.