WASHINGTON: A Royal Australian Air Force electronic warfare plane caught fire on takeoff during an exercise in the United States Saturday but there were no serious injuries, the military said.
Australia’s Department of Defense confirmed “an incident involving an EA-18G Growler at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag.”
It said RAAF personnel are safe “and no serious injuries have been sustained” during the incident which occurred in Nevada and is under investigation.
The EA-18G Growler, a variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, can fly into a combat zone before other aircraft, using its jammers to suppress ground defenses ahead of a bomb strike.
A statement from Nellis Air Force Base said the “incident during takeoff” occurred at about 10:45 am (1845 GMT) Saturday.
“The aircraft was required to abort its takeoff and subsequently caught fire. However, all personnel are safe,” the Nellis statement said without identifying the plane as being from Australia .
Exercise Red Flag is an air-to-air combat training exercise involving the United States, Australia and Britain. - Agencies