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F-35 stealth fighter crashes for the first time

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A US military jet, a short distance from its base, crashed in South Carolina on Friday with the pilot ejecting safely and no one on the ground injured, authorities said. The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B crashed about 11:45 am into an uninhabited marsh island near the Grays Hill community, authorities said. The jet was based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort about 4 miles west of the crash site at Little Barnwell Island, the station said in a news release. The Marine F-35B fighter jet was on a routine training mission. The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. One flew its first combat mission Thursday in Afghanistan. The jet costs about $100 million. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all have their own versions of the F-35. The program has been criticised by some in Congress for testing problems, delays and cost overruns. (AP)

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