Thursday, July 16, 2020

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

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The Estonian Defence Forces have reported that a Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 multirole fighter accidentally launched an air-to-air missile in the Estonian air space on 7 August.

According to the statement, an incident occurred on 7 August at 3:44 PM EEDT over the village of Pangodi near the city of Otepaa.

The Eurofighter ‘s missile was equipped with a self-destruction mode that should activate when it’s launched by an accident, but it cannot be ruled out that the missile landed on the ground. The AMRAAM type missile is 3.7 metres (12.1 feet) long, with a diameter of 18 cm (7’’) and it carries explosives. The last presumed location of the missile was 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the Estonian town of Tartu.

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Emergency services asked local residents who discovered the rocket or its parts, not to approach it and immediately report the find.

Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 multirole fighter returned to Lithuania’s Air Force Base at Šiauliai International Airport.

The Spanish jets are based in Lithuania as part of the Baltic Air Policing mission that was established in 2004 to assist Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have no airborne air defence capability of their own. The Spanish Eurofighter detachment comprised of six jets.

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.

A third detachment fill for the standing peacetime mission of Baltic Air Policing is a result of additional aircraft offers made by Allies.  Such opportunities provide increased flexibility in employing assets to safeguard NATO airspace in the Baltic Region, and improved training opportunities.

The AMRAAM air-to-air missile is the world’s most sophisticated air dominance weapon. With more than 25 years of design, upgrades, testing and production, the AIM-120 missile continues to meet all warfighter requirements. Its capabilities have been fully demonstrated in more than 4,200 test shots and 10 air-to-air combat victories.

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