Estonia: Spanish fighter aircraft accidentally launches air-to-air missile

Estonia: Spanish fighter aircraft accidentally launches air-to-air missile
Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon. Wikipedia: By Steve Gregory - flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

[Ed. – Well, that’s not good.  Baltic airspace is some of the tensest on the planet, with Russia and NATO facing off and a recent history of a LOT of close-call interactions initiated by Russia. The last thing we need is a NATO aircraft accidentally launching a missile at the wrong time. Fortunately, it sounds like this occurred inside Estonian airspace at a time when there was no Russian aircraft in the general vicinity.  But the consequences under different circumstances could mushroom fast.]

A Spanish Eurofighter jet accidentally launched an air-to-air missile in the Estonian air space on 7 August.

The incident occurred on 7 August at 3:44 PM EEDT near the town of Otepää in a temporarily segregated area. The missile’s direction was north and its exact trajectory, location and fate is unknown.

According to the Estonian Defence Forces, the 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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The Spanish fighter that accidentally launched the missile, an Eurofighter Typhoon 2000, returned to its home base in the Lithuanian town of Šiauliai.

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