F-35 crashes in US apparent first crash of its kind

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Srinagar: A US F-35 fighter was completely destroyed in a crash while training Friday, officials said. While the pilot safely ejected.

The crash appears to be the first of its kind for the troubled F-35 program, marking an unfortunate moment for the most expensive plane in history.

Speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement, a defense official told news gathering agency AFP that the Marine Corps F-35 had crashed outside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.

“It”s a total loss,” the official said.

The Beaufort County Sheriff”s Office said the pilot safely ejected and was being evaluated for injuries.

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

The crash comes just one day after the US military first used the F-35, which has been beset with delays and cost overruns, in combat.

Multiple Marine Corps F-35s struck Taliban targets in Afghanistan.

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

Once servicing and maintenance costs for the F-35 are factored in over the aircraft”s lifespan through 2070, overall program costs are expected to rise to $1.5 trillion.