Armed Forces International News - January 2008

RAF Training Flight Sees Practice Bomb Lost

Posted by Paul Fiddian on 09/01/2008 - 19:10:47

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A practice bomb has been lost from a military aircraft which was undertaking a routine training flight. Officials at the Ministry of Defence think that it was being carried by a Harrier (likely a Harrier GR7 – the latest variant of the famed Vertical Short Take Off and Landing/V-STOL type in RAF service), and that it was lost while the combat jet was in transit between Royal Air Force Wittering and the designated target range at Holbeach, UK.

The most recently available information on the situation emerged on Tuesday 8th January, from which it was understood that the path traced by the aircraft was being tracked at ground level. The police, meanwhile, have been notified.

RAF: Practice Bomb Likely Dropped Over Test Range or Sea

According to the RAF, the chance that the light blue-coloured bomb had fallen onto uninhabited territory (such as within the Holbeach zone, or into the North Sea) was “highly likely”. However, it could not ignore the possibility of it having come down on another location.

“In all likelihood, the practice bomb would have detonated on impact”, a spokesman for the RAF asserted.

He continued: "It contains a small amount of explosive and has the same properties as a commercial firework. A search of the flight path area was carried out last night, but due to the size of the practice bomb, it could be difficult to spot.

"Due to the nature of the flight path, we also believe it would have landed in the sea, but we can't discount a ground landing. We are very aware of the risks of flying, and safety remains one of our highest priorities.

"An investigation has been convened to determine the cause of the bomb's release."

Anyone who comes across the device is urged to get in touch with the police.

Source – Armed Forces International’s Aviation Expert

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