Pilot safely ejected from military plane crash outside Beaufort, SC

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"At approximately 11:45, a 2D Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B impacted near the Broad River in Beaufort County".

The pilot, the only person aboard the craft, ejected safely and was being checked for injuries, said a Pentagon spokesman, adding that there were no other injuries.

But this is the first time the military has suffered a full-blown crash of an F-35 involving the ejection of a pilot.

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Most of the new planes will be for United States use but some will go to allies.

Israel operates 12 F-35 fighters known in Israel by their Hebrew name, the "Adir", meaning mighty or great. On Thursday, F-35s landed on a British aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the first time.

The plane was a Marine F-35B fighter jet on a routine training mission, a spokesperson for the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.

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Smoke rises at the site of a F-35 jet crash in Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S., September 28, 2018 in this still image obtained from social media.

But the programme has faced numerous delays, cost overruns and setbacks, including a mysterious engine fire in 2014 that led commanders to temporarily ground the planes. Trump has attracted criticism and ridicule for seeming to believe this makes the jets "invisible".

The F-35 program is expected to cost the Pentagon about $406 billion for 2,456 fighter jets that the services intend to buy, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office.

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This gives it a small radar cross-section, which is said to allow it to engage enemy aircraft before they see it.

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