Norway F-16s shoot up control tower

Norwegian Royal Air Force F-16s are shown during an exercise in 2013.
1st Lt. Christopher C. Mesnard
Norwegian Royal Air Force F-16s are shown during an exercise in 2013.

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Norwegian F-16s were practicing attacks on simulated targets on Tarva island

Official: Cannon fire from jets tore into a control tower, nearly hitting three people

Incident is under investigation

CNN —  

Norwegian defense officials are investigating how one of their fighter jets fired on a control tower during exercises over an island off the country’s west coast this month, something that’s not unprecedented.

Norwegian Royal Air Force F-16s were practicing attacks on simulated targets on Tarva island early April 13 when cannon fire from the fighter jets tore into a control tower, almost striking three people inside, Maj. Stian Roen told CNN.

None of the three, who were described as “controlling the targets,” were injured. “We are thankful for that,” Roen said.

F-16s are armed with a six-barrel, 20 mm Gatling gun, capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute.

Norwegian officials did not say how many rounds hit the tower. They said the rounds were “cold bullets” used only for training and had no explosives in them.

Roen said a commission of six people headed by an F-16 pilot has been appointed to investigate.

If precedent is any guide, that probe may take a long time. A similar incident from 2009 – an F-16 firing on and hitting the same tower – was under investigation for two years, Roen said.