The US Army is searching for an F-35 fighter jet that went missing after an incident that forced the pilot to eject from the advanced stealth aircraft over South Carolina.
Emergency response teams are trying to find what remains of the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, which suffered what the military called a “mishap” on Sunday afternoon, according to social media posts from Joint Base Charleston. an air base in South Carolina.
The unidentified pilot ejected safely and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.
One of the air bases in North Charleston, the Joint Base, assured that it was continuing to work with the United States Marine Corps Air Station to “locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap.”
It is not known with certainty if the plane is still in the air or if it fell somewhere still unidentified.
Those searching for the aircraft have headed north, sweeping to find the whereabouts of the F-35B Lightning 2 aircraft.
Without giving more details, the authorities assured that unforeseen circumstances caused the pilot to eject in mid-flight. This led the Charleston Air Base, a city in the south of this state, to ask for the collaboration of residents.
“If you have any information that could help our rescue teams locate the F-35, please call the base’s Defense Operations Center,” the military installation wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Base officials said they were conducting search operations, in coordination with federal aviation regulators, around two lakes north of Charleston. The F-35s, made by Lockheed Martin, cost about $80 million each.
The plane’s transponder, which normally helps locate the plane, was not working “for some reason we have not yet determined,” the Washington Post reported, citing Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman for Joint Base Charleston.
F-35 aircraft sold to South Korea
The Biden Administration last week approved the sale of up to 60 F-35 fighter jets to South Korea as part of a package that will include engines, equipment and support valued at 10.8 billion dollars (10.065 million euros).
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an allied nation,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement. USA.
Likewise, he has indicated that the sale will provide Seoul with a defensive capability to “deter aggression in the region and guarantee interoperability with US forces.” “It will increase the inventory of operational aircraft and improve its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capabilities,” he added.