Amsterdam - This year in January, a rare event in the history of military aviation happened. An F-16 fighter jet from the Dutch Air Force shot itself with its own cannon during a military drill over Vlieland, Netherland.
According to the state news agency NOS, the F-16 carried out an emergency landing after getting hit by a cannon bullet – which turned out to be its own ammunition. The military investigators are still trying to find out how exactly the incident happened.
“This is a serious incident. We, therefore, want to fully investigate what happened and how we would be able to avoid this in future”, said Wim Bagerbos, inspector general at the Dutch Department of Defense.
A Dutch F-16 task wing was shooting ground targets during an air-to-ground training with their six-barrel cannons. The incident happened on January 21, when the F-16s fired at a target on the Vliehors training ground on Vlieland.
Department of Defense released a photo to Dutch media, which shows an apparent bullet hole on the left side of the fighter jet right below the canopy.
No one was injured. The pilot has followed emergency procedures and the jet safely landed at Leeuwarden Air Base, according to the Department of Defense.
Ammunition fragments also reportedly damaged the aircraft’s engine. It is not yet clear how many bullets hit the fighter aircraft.