Classified information about the F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft has been leaked by online gamers.
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Flight manual information, sensor locations, engine specifications, and firing angles were reportedly published to a public online forum earlier this month before the entire threat was removed by moderators.
The server relates to the simulation and military vehicular combat video game War Thunder, published by Hungarian video game developer Gaijin Entertainment.
Although the single-seat, subsonic twin-engine Nighthawk, and the first operational aircraft to be designed with stealth technology, has been retired from service since April 2008, it remains covered by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
ITAR Information pertaining to defence and military-related technologies may only be shared with US personnel unless authorised by the US Department of State.
Gaijin Entertainment officials have previously stated the company employs specialists to constantly monitor all legal sources of information and delete any classified data.
“We always delete all classified or restricted data as soon as possible, that’s our rule and we clearly tell our users that they should never post this in the first place,” a company official said earlier this year.
The War Thunder forum users are no stranger to military technology breaches as having previously removed published content regarding the Challenger 2 main battle tank, Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, Chinese tank ammunition, Leclerc main battle tank, F-16 fighter jets and AMRAAM ammunition, PUMA infantry fighting vehicles, F-15 fighter jet weapons, MiG-29 fighter jet, and other alleged leaks.
F-117 aircraft are still operated by the United States Air Force at Tonopah Air Force Base in Nevada. It’s suspected the aircraft are used for testing and as stealth-capable aggressor aircraft in training operations.