Remotely-piloted Navy jet damaged in California accident

POINT MUGU, Calif. — An unmanned Navy reconnaissance aircraft was damaged in a belly-landing at a Southern California base this week.

Navy officials tell the Ventura County Star a remotely piloted MQ-4C Triton was on a flight Wednesday when it experienced mechanical issues and was turned back to Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu.

The jet’s landing gear failed to deploy and it skidded down the runway on its belly.

Cmdr. Dave Hecht says the Triton sustained significant damage.

Base spokeswoman Theresa Miller says the Triton costs approximately $110 million.

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton is the Navy’s version of the Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawks, which have been operated for 20 years.

The Triton can fly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions lasting more than 24 hours at altitudes above 10 miles (16 kilometers).