A Mercury E-6B airborne communications plane was forced to land after a bird was absorbed by an engine, destroying it.
The E-6B is designed to act as a major communications transmitter during a nuclear war, ensuring that the President of the United States can send orders to the nuclear triad, including launch orders.
The incident took place earlier this month at the naval air station of the Patuxent River, Virginia.
According to the Navy Times, the plane was touching and landing when one of its four engines swallowed a bird, destroying it.
The E-6B was able to make an emergency landing at the air station.
None of the crew was injured in the incident.
The incident was classified as a “Class A” incident, which the US Navy. UU. Define as one that results in $ 2 million or more in damage or a destroyed plane. It is also defined as an incident that involves a “fatality or permanent total disability.”
In this case, the accident is classified as “Class A” due to the cost of repair and the cost of a replacement engine.
Based on the Boeing 707 civil airliner, the E-6B is designed to serve as a retransmission of backup communications between the National Command Authority (the President of the United States or its successors) and the Air Force bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear nuclear. US Navy missile submarines.
The nickname of the E-6B is TACAMO, for “Take Charge and Move Out,” precisely what the plane would do in case of a nuclear war.
In case of crisis, the Mercury takes off and unwinds the double cable antennas connected to the ramps.
The plane flies in circles, the antennas transmit low frequency command signals with a range of hundreds of miles.
The plane can pick up a signal from the NCA and transmit it to the nuclear forces, ordering them to launch or withdraw.
Mercury’s ability to transmit nuclear launch commands has earned him the description of the “deadliest plane in the skies,” despite its complete lack of weapons.
The plane usually flies with a mixed crew of 13-18 Navy and Air Force personnel.
In February, another E-6B was damaged when the plane’s vertical stabilizer was damaged when it hit a plane hangar. That accident was also classified as Class A.
In March, another E-6B made an emergency landing after a fire on board. The U.S. Navy UU.
It is beginning to lay the groundwork to replace the plane with a new plane from 2038.