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US military seeks public help to locate stealth jet

September 18, 2023

Military officials are looking for the F-35B Lightning II jet after a "mishap" off South Carolina's coast. The pilot ejected safely.

An F-35B Lightning II jet
Joint Base Charleston reached out to the public requesting any leads on the jet's whereaboutsImage: Gianluca Vannicelli/IPA/picture alliance

The United States military appealed to the public for help in locating a stealth-capable fighter jet on Sunday.

According to authorities, a "mishap" caused the F-35B Lightning II jet pilot to eject over the southern state of South Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The military subsequently lost track of the stealth jet.

What is the military saying?

Joint Base Charleston asked local residents to call the base if they have any information that could help recovery teams locate the jet.

"Based on the jet's last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion," the post read. The two lakes are located north of the city of Charleston.

Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina commented on the development, saying: "How is there not a tracking device and we're asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?"

What is the F-35B Lightning II?

The F-35B Lightning II, designed for the US Marine Corps, boasts advanced stealth capabilities and integrated avionics, making it a prime candidate for electronic warfare and reconnaissance.

Its stealth allows radar evasion, and with its short takeoff and vertical landing features, it can reach speeds up to Mach 1.6 (more than 1,200 mph, almost 2,000 kph).

The jets are made by Lockheed Martin and cost about $80 million (€75.04 million) each.

Pentagon to start training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s

ss/rc (AFP)

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