Warplane Built To Withstand Nuclear Attack Grounded By Bird Strike

A single bird has taken down a 'doomsday' warplane designed to survive a nuclear attack.

The E-6B Mercury aircraft was carrying out a touch-and-go manoeuvre at a Maryland airfield on October 2 when a bird took out one of the four engines.

The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing and remained grounded until the engine was replaced. 

Thankfully, the bird was the only fatality.

E-6B Mercury was downed by a bird causing millions of dollars. Image:

Astoundingly, the incident was declared a 'Class A mishap' by officials, meaning the damage bill exceeded US$2 million --2.9 million Aussie dollars.

It's not known what species of bird caused the chaos, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy told

The US$141 million aircraft is a souped-up Boeing 707 which serves as a command and communications platform for the U.S Navy.

The aircraft is also capable of launching U.S. land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and is equipped with technology to survive electromagnetic pulses from nuclear bombs detonating below it.

The E-6B Mercury was grounded while the engine was replaced . Image:

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There appears to be no bird strike preventing mechanism.

It's not the first time a single bird as brought down an airforce jet. In fact, there have been five Class A mishaps involving a bird strike in the last decade, the Navy Times reports.

This particular jet is back in action, but an investigation into the incident is underway.