German Air Force Eurofighters Collide Mid-Air, Killing One Pilot

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:39 AM, June 25, 2019
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German Air Force Eurofighters Collide Mid-Air, Killing One Pilot
Eurofighter Typhoon belonging to the German Air Force (image: YouTube)
Two Eurofighter jets belonging to the German Air Force suffered a mid-air collision in the Muritz area of north-eastern Germany during a air combat exercise, killing one pilot. Both pilots ejected from the jets, but only one managed to survive the mishap. The pilot who survived was found dangling from a tree by rescue teams. One of the Eurofighters went down in a forest. The other crashed near a village about 10 km (6 miles) away, the interior ministry in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania said. The third pilot taking part in the routine exercise witnessed the collision over the Fleesensee and reported seeing two parachutes. "All three aircraft were unarmed, and after 20 minutes for unknown reasons, two of the three Eurofighters touched each other in the air," BBC quoted air force commander Ingo Gerhartz as saying Monday. "According to the third pilot, who is of course still in shock, he could see the two parachutes attached to the eject seats and he confirmed that both parachutes could be seen," he added. The German Luftwaffe is struggling to keep ground readiness of its Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet fleet. Only four of 128 fighters are combat ready. A majority of the Luftwaffes 128 fighter planes are closed for operations. The technicians are concerned about faulty self-protection systems and their cooling systems, Der Spiegel reported in 2018. According to the news daily, all "Eurofighters" on the wings have a sensor that detects enemy jets or attacks and warns the pilot. About half a year ago, it was discovered that the pod is no longer properly cooled. Since it is central to the self-protection system, this must be active in all operational flights, the number of operational jets drops. There are other technical problems relating to the wing-pods. Although the defective pods on the wings could be replaced, the technicians needed a specific spare part to seal the cooling circuit, which is currently unavailable as the manufacturer is no longer operational. According to the news daily, all "Eurofighters" on the wings have a sensor that detects enemy jets or attacks and warns the pilot. About half a year ago, it was discovered that the pod is no longer properly cooled. Since it is central to the self-protection system, this must be active in all operational flights, the number of operational jets drops. Even before the discovery of the new problems, the "Eurofighter" was considered a problem child of the Luftwaffe. In an official overview for the Bundeswehr, only 39 of the 128 jets were listed as ready for use last year. This report, known in the jargon as clarification, was one of the grimmest reports of the many weapons systems and caused negative headlines. But at least it seemed as if the problems were no longer concealed. The problem with the self-defense system is currently only one of the concerns of the military. Because the Luftwaffe has only two handful of air combat missiles for the "Eurofighter" fleet, according to SPIEGEL information, only four jets are ready for real combat missions.
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