How Can A SUV Take Out A Navy Fighter Jet?

How can a high speed police chase lead an SUV to crash into a $60 million Navy fighter jet? It seems like a civilian vehicle careening into a naval station would be considered a major breech of security.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee crashed into the tail section of an F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jet on Wednesday in Fresno, California. The Jeep was leading police on a high speed chase and breached a control point at Naval Station Lemoore.

The control point was manned, and defense officials would not release the specifics of whether or not the SUV was able to get through the control point and onto the base. The station’s commander, Capt. Monty Ashliman, said that neither of the occupants of the vehicle had military affiliation and that the attack was not a targeted effort.

According to Capt. Ashliman, all entry and exit points were properly manned with security. He said:

“Regardless of procedures we have in place, something went wrong and we had a tragic accident. We had some damage to an aircraft and we had two losses of life so we’ve got to figure out a way to prevent that from happening in the future.”

There is now an ongoing investigation to discern how the jeep was able to get through the manned control point. Capt. Ashliman hopes that the investigation will be able to pinpoint what allowed the UV to get past barriers and personnel. He also hopes for the investigation to highlight areas where base security can improve.

The Jeep was parked on the side of a highway when California Highway Patrol approached the vehicle to see if there was a problem. The vehicle raced away as the officers approached. The Jeep was pursued by two police cruisers and a CHP helicopter. The chase lasted only about 20 minutes and reached speeds over 100 MPH.

The Jeep got seven miles into the Naval Station before it crashed into the fighter jet. The female passenger died on the scene, and the driver died later in a hospital.

Featured image via Flickr, available under a Creative Commons license.