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US F-35 military fighter jet crashes during training missing

US F-35 military fighter jet crashes during training missing
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America's most expensive military weapons programme has suffered its first loss after a Marine F-35B fighter jet crashed during a training mission in South Carolina.

The pilot ejected before the crash and no one on the ground was injured, authorities say. An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

The F-35 programme is used by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and boasts a design that allows it to avoid radar detection. The programme has been criticised for testing problems, delays and cost overruns.

The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. One flew its first combat mission in Afghanistan on Thursday (September 27).

The lost jet cost about €86 million but a new contract is expected to knock about 10 million off the price.