World News

Spanish Eurofighter jet accidentally launched an air-to-air missile near Estonia

Spanish Eurofighter jet accidentally launched an air-to-air missile near Estonia

The missile was sacked at 15.44 EEST over Tartu County's Pangodi area. It was last located some 40 kilometers north of Estonia's city of Tartu, where it might have landed on the ground, according to Estonian media.

A Eurofighter Typhoon from the Spanish Air Force accidentally launched an AMRAAM air-to-air missile in a practice area in southern Estonia on Tuesday.

Colonel Riivo Valge, head of the Estonian Air Force, said the warhead was far less damaging than a ground-targeted bomb. The EDF are also asking people not to go looking for the weapon on their own.

Spanish fighter jets taking part in a NATO Air policing mission over Estonia have been temporarily suspended from completing their duties, after one of the pilots erroneously fired an armed missile during a training flight.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said on Facebook "thank God" there were "no human casualties" due to this "startling incident", which he called "extremely regrettable".

After the incident the jets returned to an air base in Siauliai in northern Lithuania where they are based.

More news: Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

He said the Estonian Defence Forces were working with its allies to ensure it did not happen again.

The biggest goal of the mission is to prevent or intercept any unauthorised incursion into the airspace of one of the Baltic states - carried out mostly by Russian aircrafts, which enter the space nearly regularly.

Jets from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries deployed on air-policing missions have had regular encounters with Russian jets over the Baltics, though there were no reports of Russian aircraft in the area when the missile was sacked on Tuesday.

The Spanish Defense Ministry said it was investigating the incident and said the missile did not hit any aircraft or "cause any harm". "The defence ministry has opened an investigation to clarify the exact cause of the incident".

Spain led the BAP mission in 2006 and 2016 and augmented it out of Ämari in 2015 and 2017, making this the fifth tour to the Baltics.


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