A Russian combat jet recently released a missile near the vicinity of a British aircraft, according to UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. The incident took place over the Black Sea on September 29.
An unarmed RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft was interacted with by Russia's two Su-27s. One of the Russian jets fired a missile in the vicinity of the British plane beyond visual range, according to Wallace.
"The patrol completed and the aircraft returned to its base. In light of this potentially dangerous engagement, I have communicated my concerns directly to my Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of defense staff in Moscow," Wallace told the House of Commons, according to the Guardian.
Missile Was Released Due to A Technical Malfunction
When Russian officials were asked about the incident, they stated that the missile was released due to a technical malfunction.
Britain's aircraft was unarmed and following a pre-notified path in international airspace. After the incident, the patrols were suspended till Russia gave a reply on the matter.
Air Patrols Were Suspended
On October 10, Shoigu stressed that an inquiry was conducted over the matter and the incident took place due to a technical glitch in the Su-27 fighter jet. The Russian Defense Ministry also confirmed that the incident took place in international airspace, according to Wallace.
"The UK Ministry of Defence has shared this information with allies and, after consultation, I have restarted routine patrols, but this time escorted by fighter aircraft. Everything we do is considered calibrated with regard to the ongoing conflict in the region and in accordance with international law," he told the House of Commons, reported The Guardian.
Since 2019, the UK has been conducting regular sorties with the RAF Rivet Joint over the Black Sea and Wallace confirmed that the sorties will be conducted on regular basis.