A Litening III Reconnaissance Pod was destroyed after falling from the belly of a Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon during a test, the Telegraph reported.
As engineers were carrying out testing on the pod fitted of the Typhoon, it reportedly fell and was damaged beyond repair.
While the exact date of the incident was not revealed, the loss of the equipment was accounted for in the 2019/2020 financial year report by the British Ministry of Defence. The loss was evaluated at £640,000 ($900,000).
“In an organization as large and complex as the MoD such incidents can occur, but we do not take matters lightly, and thoroughly investigate all losses,” a Ministry spokesman told the Telegraph.
The AN/AAQ-28 Litening pod, conjointly designed by the US manufacturer Northrop Grumman and the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is a precision targeting designation equipment capable of acquiring and tracking targets at long ranges, thanks to a high-resolution forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor. Additionally to the RAF Typhoons, the Litening III is also used by the Italian Air Force AMX ground-attack aircraft and the Indian Air Force Tejas.
In another costly blunder, a B-52 strategic bomber lost a hypersonic missile in June 2020. The aircraft was taking part in a captive-carry flight test for the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept joint program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the United States Air Force.