U.S. Navy RQ-4A Drone Suffers Major Damage During Takeoff In Middle East

U.S. Navy RQ-4A Drone Suffers Major Damage During Takeoff In Middle East
U.S. Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk for takeoff at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

U.S. Navy RQ-4A BAMS-D (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator) drone suffered major damage during a takeoff attempt while operating in the Middle East.

The incident, first reported by USNI News on December 12, happened on Nov. 26, 2019.

The service’s $180-million RQ-4A Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D) was attempting to take off from a runway in U.S. Central Command and was hit by a piece of debris on its port side on Nov. 26, according to a statement from U.S. 5th Fleet.

“The mishap resulted in damage to the port side of the aircraft. No personnel was injured,” reads the statement. “A mishap investigation is ongoing, and we, therefore, have no further releasable details.”

No injuries were reported.

While the Navy did not disclose the location of the incident, the service’s BAMS-D have been known to operate from the Al Dhafra Airbase in United Arab Emirates.

According to a summary of the accident reviewed by USNI News, the damage to the aircraft has been categorized as a Class-A mishap, meaning it is estimated to cost at least $2 million to repair.

The BAMS-D is the same type of surveillance drone that was downed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile in June.

The five original BAMS-D unmanned vehicles were modified by the Navy from Air Force R-Q4A Global Hawk platform as a testbed for the service as a high-altitude, high-endurance surveillance aircraft.

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