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20th Oct 2022

Russian jet fired missile near British plane patrolling Black Sea

Jack Peat

The ‘interaction’ lasted 90 minutes, the Defence Secretary said

Ben Wallace says he has been in contact with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu after a Russian fighter jet fired a missile near a British plane above the Black Sea.

The Defence Secretary announced in the Commons that two Russian Su-27 fighters had ‘interacted’ with an RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint spy plane which was on patrol above international waters to the south of Crimea.

During the interaction, one fighter ‘released a missile’.

Shoigu later blamed it on a technical malfunction, Wallace added.

Britain does not believe the move was a deliberate escalation, Wallace said, but it nonetheless underlines just how quickly the Ukraine war could spiral into World War Three.

Detailing what happened between the Russian fighter and the UK plane, Mr Wallace said: “I would also like to share with the House details of a recent incident which occurred in international airspace over the Black Sea.

“On September 29 an unarmed RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint, a civilian-style aircraft on routine patrol over the Black Sea was interacted with by two Russian armed SU-27 fighter aircraft. It is not unusual for aircraft to be shadowed and this day was no different.

“During that interaction however, it transpired that one of the SU-27 aircraft released a missile in the vicinity of the RAF Rivet Joint beyond visual range.

“The total time of the interaction between the Russian aircraft and the Rivet Joint was approximately 90 minutes.

“The patrol completed and the aircraft returned to base.”

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