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American F-35B Goes Missing, Truly Living Up to Its “Stealth” Reputation

According to Joint Base Charleston spokesperson Jeremy Huggins, before the F-35B pilot ejected from the aircraft using their ejection seat, they had put the aircraft into "autopilot" mode, which means there is a possibility that it was still in the air even after the pilot had left the cockpit.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – An American F-35B stealth fighter jet has truly become “stealth”  after it remained undiscovered by search and rescue teams for more than 24 hours following a “mishap”

The “mishap” occurred in South Carolina, United States, on Sunday afternoon (local time).

According to the local media, the pilot of the fifth-generation aircraft, valued at US$120 million (RM540 million each), successfully ejected from the plane using its ejection seat.

The F-35B fighter aircraft variant is VSTOL (Vertical Short Take-Off and Landing) type.

However, the U.S. military is currently facing the challenge of locating the “missing” F-35B fighter aircraft belonging to the country’s Marine Corps, which has not been found to this day.

F-35

Now, Joint Base Charleston is seeking assistance from residents near the accident location to jointly search for the fighter jet, which remains not only “stealth”  while flying but continues to be  “stealth”  even after the “mishap”

“If you have any information that can assist our search teams in locating the F-35 fighter jet, you can contact the Air Base Operations Center,” according to a post from the base on X (formerly known as Twitter).

According to Joint Base Charleston spokesperson Jeremy Huggins, before the F-35B pilot ejected from the aircraft using its ejection seat, they had put the aircraft into “autopilot” mode, which means there is a possibility that it was still in the air even after the pilot had left the cockpit.

However, it is highly likely that the F-35B ran out of fuel and fell to the ground.

At this time, officials speculate that the F-35 aircraft may have crashed into one of the two nearby lakes, either Lake Moultrie or Lake Marion in South Carolina.

F-35
F-35B VSTOL

 

However, this incident has sparked the anger of Republican representative Nancy Mace, who questions how the U.S. military and government could “lose” an F-35 aircraft.

“How is it that the aircraft does not have tracking devices, and now we have to rely on civilians to search for and recover it?” she said.

Huggins mentioned that the “missing” F-35″ transponder was not functioning due to unknown reasons until now.

On its website, Lockheed Martin, the company that developed the F-35 aircraft, describes it as the world’s most advanced combat aircraft and also the “most dangerous, phantom” aircraft. The fighter jet comes in three variants: F-35A (conventional takeoff and landing), F-35B (U.S. Marine Corps), and F-35C (for operations on aircraft carriers). — DSA

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