ÚK: Russian fighter releases missile in technical mistake

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s defense secretary revealed Thursday that a Russian fighter jet released a missile near an RAF aircraft operating in international airspace over the Black Sea last month.

Ben Wallace told the House of Commons on Thursday that an unarmed RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint – a spy plane – “interacted with’’ two Russian SU-27s. One of the fighter jets “released a missile in the vicinity of’’ the British plane beyond visual range, he said.

While it is not unusual for planes to be shadowed in international airspace, Wallace said he suspended flights and demanded an explanation from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“The reply by the Russian minister of defense on Oct. 10 stated they have conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and stated it was a technical malfunction of the SU-27 fighter,’’ he told lawmakers. “They also acknowledge that the incident took place in international airspace.”

Wallace said the suspended flights had resumed but are now escorted by fighter aircraft.

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