In January of last year, an Air Force F-35A fighter jet landed after colliding with an eagle. However, contrary to what was originally known, it was confirmed that the fighter was seriously damaged. Not only the engine but also major parts were severely damaged, so the Air Force is even considering scrapping the fighter.
This is an exclusive report by Kim Tae-hoon, a defense reporter안전놀이터.
On January 4 last year, an F-35A stealth fighter that took off from the Cheongju base collided with a large eagle while in flight.
The eagle was sucked into the air intake, after which the fighter’s avionics stopped working, and the wheels and landing gear, which act as brakes during takeoff and landing, were also jammed.
The F-35A landed on the Seosan base runway without landing gear, and the Air Force said that the damage to the fuselage was minimal.
[Shin Ok-cheol/Former Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff (January 5 of last year): There was some damage to the lower part of the fuselage during the landing, and we are currently conducting a detailed investigation to see if there is any damage inside the aircraft.] A government
source told SBS “As a result of a close examination, the fuselage of the front and rear wings, the aircraft’s airframe, and the engine were severely twisted from the impact of landing,” he said.
It is known that not only the engine but also major parts are damaged due to the distortion of the fuselage and airframe.
The Air Force is receiving damage and repair-related data from Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, and it is said that the cost of repairs reaches 110 billion won.
Since it was an accident with no company responsibility or insurance coverage, our military has to bear the full cost.
When considering the remaining life after repair, the practical benefit is not large, so the Air Force is reviewing ways to dispose of it or use it as an educational aid. When an F-15K crashed in the East Sea
in 2006, we received a new fighter jet from Boeing in conjunction with the second acquisition project. Currently, the F-35A additional introduction project is underway, but it is unknown whether Lockheed Martin will take a forward-looking position like Boeing.