Sailors with the Navy’s VQ-4 Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, make preparations for moving an E-6B Mercury out of a TACAMO hangar bay in 2013. (Air Force photo by Mike W. Ray)

Defense Tech: One of Navy’s Nuclear War Contingency Aircraft Damaged in Hangar Incident

A Navy plane was being towed out of a hangar last week when its tail clipped the top of the structure, leading to what could amount to millions of dollars in repairs.

An E-6B Mercury, a nuclear command-and-control aircraft, was being moved at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, on Thursday as part of its daily operations when the vertical stabilizer at the rear of the aircraft struck the hangar, said Lt. Travis Callaghan, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces. The incident has been labeled a Class-A mishap by the Naval Safety Center, meaning the damages to the aircraft likely total at least $2 million.

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