BERLIN, (BM) – During a drill over the Nordhorn ridge in Lower Saxony, a Luftwaffe Tornado fighter lost two training bombs, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing FlugRevue. The Bundeswehr has assembled the bombshells, the investigation continues. This case was not the first one of its kind in Nordhorn.
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The Nordhorn air-to-ground shooting range near the Dutch border is the largest air training area in Germany. Accordingly, Bundeswehr fighter jets and neighboring NATO partners are active there: Eurofighters from Nörvenich and tornadoes from Büchel and Jagel share the training area with Belgian and Dutch F-16s.
Last Tuesday, the Nordhorn ridge was officially called until 2001 and was back in operation. Two tornadoes from the Luftwaffe practiced throwing bombs on the spot. However, when the target approached the shooting range, one of the two rotating wings of the plane accidentally lost two bombs.
The Air Force announced last night via Twitter that the bombs “broke off the plane prematurely” and fell “in the area of immediate observation of the drop point.” The Bundeswehr declined to comment on the Tornado’s origin that caused the damage, citing ongoing investigations. However, based on available radar data from yesterday, it seems likely that this is a machine belonging to the tactical Air Force Wing 33 from Büchel.
Don’t touch anything, go to the police
Initially, the Luftwaffe advised the population not to “touch” objects found in the area but instead to inform the police. The bomb dummies are filled with smoke cartridges for illustrative purposes, “which generate a white-gray cloud when they hit the ground.” However, they did not contain explosives. Meanwhile, both bomb mannequins have been found, the BBC team announced on Twitter on March 2.
It’s not common, but it’s not unique
Not everyday fighter jets accidentally drop ammunition during training, but it has also happened several times in Nordhorn. For example, a tornado, TLG 33, lost a practical bomb in 2014 in the area of the municipality of Wietmarschen, about ten kilometers from the practice area.
A similar incident occurred in Bentheim in November 2005, also with a tornado. An Air Force spokesman then commented that the pilot had probably dropped the training bomb about 900 meters too early. The dummy went to the ground just a few meters from the house, NDR wrote at the time.
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