A stealth F-35 American plane badly damaged by a bird

Model F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin, in February 2011, in the United States – AP Photo / U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin

An American stealth aircraft deployed in Japan was badly damaged by a bird that caused millions of dollars in damage. "On May 7, an F-35B assigned to the 12th Carrier Battle Group (…) stopped its take-off because of a collision with a bird at the base of the Iwakuni Marine Corps" in western Japan. Commander Christopher Harrison, spokeswoman for the Marine Corps, said. The pilot is safe and sound, he said.

Photos circulated on social networks showing the remains of a bird looking like a hawk stuck under the plane. The damage has not been accurately assessed but the Marine Corps has already classified the incident as "A", which means the cost is expected to exceed $ 2 million.

The most expensive weapons program in US military history

Launched in the early 1990s, the F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in US military history, with an estimated total cost of nearly $ 400 billion for the Pentagon, for a goal of nearly 2,500 devices to be produced in the coming decades.

The F-35B is the short take-off and vertical landing variant for the Marine Corps. Each device costs $ 115 million.

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