- by cnn
- 29 Sep 2023
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The military losing a fighter jet near Charleston, South Carolina, and asking the public to help find it is a plotline in which "Top Gun" (fighter jets) meets "The Hunt for Red October" (country can't find its weapons system).
But the larger story of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter is like tax dollars meet "The Blob" (unstoppable force consumes everything in its path).
"How in the hell do you lose an F-35?" wondered Rep. Nancy Mace, the South Carolina Republican, in a post on social media that speaks for everyone who read the headline about the state-of-the-art military plane that went missing Sunday after its pilot ejected and parachuted to safety.
"How is there not a tracking device and we're asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?" she continued.
A more general and important question could be asked of the F-35 program writ large: How in the heck can you spend so much money on a plane that doesn't work the way it's supposed to?
The exact amount of money for a single aircraft like the one that went missing is somewhere around $100 million.
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