Spanish fighter jet accidentally fires missile in Estonia

  • Spanish fighter jet accidentally fires missile in Estonia

Spanish fighter jet accidentally fires missile in Estonia

Estonia's military says it is looking for the remains of a missile a Spanish fighter jet accidentally fired while conducting drills in the air space of the Baltic NATO ally.

Estonian authorities are now searching for the missile, and Spanish and Estonian officials are investigating the incident. The missile was (or perhaps still is) has a self-destruct feature that should activate when launched accidentally but it is unclear this occurred.

The Estonian air force has launched a search operation to find the AMRAAM-type missile, which is thought to have possibly landed "40 kilometers north of Tartu".

Mr Ratas earlier described the incident as "startling" and "extremely regrettable" in a Facebook post.

The NATO multi-role military plane, a Eurofighter Typhoon, fired the missile by accident during a training exercise over the village of Pangodi, south-west of Tartu.

He added: "I am sure that the Estonian defence forces will. make every effort to make sure that nothing like this happens again".

Two Spanish Eurofighter jets and two French Mirage 2000 jets were taking part in the training exercise, the Spanish defence ministry said. After the incident the Spanish jets returned to their base in Siauliai in northern Lithuania.

"However, after saying this, I will add that many civilian and military organizations play their role in ensuring worldwide air security. The defence ministry has opened an investigation to clarify the exact cause of the incident", it continued.

Meanwhile, the Estonian authorities made a decision to ban the Spanish aircraft from taking part in the air policing missions over its territory for a while.

The current Spanish deployment is composed of 135 personnel and Eurofighters jets.

"The air-to-air missile has not hit any aircraft". Spanish jets have done five of the three-month air-policing tours, leading them in 2006 and 2016 and taking part in 2015 and 2017.