A Marine Corps F-35B flying out of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, was damaged in early March when one of its rounds exploded while the plane was conducting a gunnery evaluation, according to a report from the Naval Safety Center.
During a night mission a 25 mm PGU-32/U SAPHEI-T round, designed to take out soft and light armored targets, exploded, damaging the aircraft’s fuselage, according to the Naval Safety Center.
“On March 12, an F-35B aircraft conducting a night time close air support mission at MCAS Yuma experienced a mishap,” Capt. Andrew Wood, a spokesman for headquarters Marine Corps confirmed to Marine Corps Times.
“The mishap did not result in any injury to personnel and an investigation of the incident is currently taking place.”
The cost to repair the F-35B was not worth the return on investment.
The incident was classified as a class A mishap, the highest level of mishap applied when the damage costs more than $2.5 million or an aircraft is lost.
This was the first aviation related class A mishap the Marine Corps recorded in fiscal year 2021, according to the report.
On Tuesday, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas said the reduction of mishaps was his personal priority.
“Ensuring institutional change occurs and lasts is my personal priority. Leadership remains the bedrock of Marine Corps initiatives to improve safety culture, reduce mishaps and increase readiness,” Thomas told lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee.