F-35 Sustains $2.5Mln Damage After Its Own Round Hits Hull During Training Flight

The fifth-generation stealth fighter has faced numerous obstacles on its way to being introduced to the US Air Force including repeatedly broken deadlines and numerous extensions to the multi-billion development budget. However, even after the end of the development, the jet boasts a plethora of bugs that emerge from time to time.

One of the US’ F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets, operated by the Marine Corps, has suffered damage to its hull caused by the jet’s own 25mm projectile’s explosion during a 12 March training flight at the Yuma Range Complex, Military.com news outlet reported citing Corps spokesman Andrew Wood.

The F-35B modification, which enables shorter take-offs and landings, managed to land safely with no one injured in the accident. However, the aircraft itself will have to undergo repairs which will cost around $2.5 million, the magazine added.

The marines are still investigating the cause of the incident. So far, the only thing known is that a 25mm semi-armour piercing high explosive round fired from the F-35B’s GAU-22 Gatling gun exploded shortly after leaving the weapon’s barrel. It is unclear if the shot, embedded with tracer for training purposes, was fired deliberately.

All versions of the F-35 come equipped with GAU-22 guns. Although the basic F-35 variant has its hidden inside the fuselage, the F-35Bs carry it in the external pod. The investigation should determine whether the incident was a result of pilot error, or a malfunction of…

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