A Marine Corps F-35B crashed in the vicinity of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., Friday around 11:45 a.m., the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The plane was a one-seater and the single pilot, a Marine Corps officer, ejected safely, according to the statement.
No one on the ground was hurt.

The plane, a short-takeoff, vertical-landing version of the F-35 was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 stationed at Beaufort.

"Marines from MCAS Beaufort are working with local authorities currently conducting standard mishap operations to secure the crash site and ensure the safety of all personnel in the surrounding area,” the statement said.

Friday marked the first time an F-35 has crashed.

The crash came on the same day the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin announced an $11.5 billion contract to buy 141 more F-35 aircraft, and one day after the same model F-35 conducted the first U.S. first combat strikes in Afghanistan in support of ground clearance operations.

Replacing the plane will cost $115.5 million under the current price for a new F-35B model.