After the pilot evacuated from the aircraft, the US military has requested the public’s assistance in locating one of its £65 million (US$80 million) F-35 fighter jets.
When the pilot was flying over the southern state of South Carolina on Sunday afternoon, it vanished from sight.
The unidentified pilot successfully evacuated and parachuted. In the hospital, his condition is stable.
Officials stated that there was a “mishap” involving the aircraft, although it is yet unclear what went wrong.
The news agency AFP reports that the cost of each Lockheed Martin plane is estimated to be over $80 million (£65 million).
Search efforts for the F-35B Lightning II jet, according to officials, are concentrated in the area of two lakes to the north of Charleston.
Federal aviation authorities are conducting searches of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion based on the last known position of the aircraft.
Being a stealth jet, the aircraft’s systems, sensors, and airframe are built to function without being picked up by hostile radar.
On X, formerly Twitter, Joint Base Charleston tweeted a request for assistance. It stated, “Emergency response teams are still searching for the F-35.”
“As the effort continues, the public is asked to cooperate with military and civilian authorities.”
It urged anyone with knowledge that could assist its workers in recovery to get in touch with its operations center.
The Marine Corps informed the BBC in a statement that, at this time, its understanding of the incident was “limited” and that it was still working to learn more.
That the accident would be “under investigation” was also mentioned.
According to military spokeswoman Maj Melanie Salinas, an additional F-35 jet that was reportedly flying concurrently made a safe return to the base in Charleston, as reported by the Associated Press.
Following a mishap in South Carolina in 2018, the US military temporarily grounded the whole fleet of F-35 fighter jets.