An Australian fighter jet burst into flames during takeoff while on a military training exercise in the USA.
The pilots and ground crew were uninjured when the Royal Australian Air Force twin-engine jet caught fire on the tarmac at the Nellis Air Base in Nevada on Saturday.
The EA-18G Growler is thought to have suffered a catastrophic engine failure while attempting to take off but an investigation is under way to find the exact cause.
Australian fighter jet bursts into flames on runway during takeoff in Nevada training exercise
The attack aircraft is one of four based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland to deploy to America last week.
The Department of Defence confirmed the incident happened during Exercise Red Flag, a training exercise involving the RAAF, US Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.
Neither the pilots or any of the ground grew were seriously injured, a defence spokesman said.
‘Royal Australian Air Force personnel are safe and no serious injuries have been sustained,’ they added.
‘Defence is currently working with the United States Air Force to investigate and will provide an update with further details once known.’
The RAAF has four Growler aircraft in the USA with eight more based at RAAF Amberley in Queensland
The extent of the damage to the aircraft has not been revealed by the authorities.
A statement released by the US Air Force said: ‘At approximately 10.45am [on Saturday], a military aircraft experienced an incident during takeoff on the Nellis Air Force Base flight line.
‘The aircraft was required to abort its take-off and subsequently caught fire. However all personnel are safe.
‘The cause of the incident is unknown and is under investigation. Details on the incident will be released as they become available.’
As well as the four Growlers, the RAAF has sent an AP-3C Orion, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft along with a Control and Reporting Centre from 41 Wing and 340 personnel.
The Growler entered service with the RAAF in 2017 and the air force currently has 12 aircraft based at RAAF Amberley. It is powered by two General Electric engines and capable of reaching 1,960km/h.