Air-To-Air Missile Is “Missing” After Spanish Fighter Accidentally Fired It Near Russian Border

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Air-To-Air Missile Is "Missing" After Spanish Fighter Accidentally Fired It Near Russian Border

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On August 7th, a NATO fighter jet accidentally shot a missile near the Russian border.

A Spanish Eurofighter 2000, while on a NATO air patrol near the Estonian-Russian border accidentally fired an air-to-air missile. It was part of a group of two Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 jets and two French Mirage 2000 jets.

The planes returned to Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, however the missile is missing. It is presumably 40 km north of Tartu, Estonia. The jet was equipped with AMRAAM type missiles, which are 3.7 meters (12.1 feet) long, have a diameter of 18 centimeters (7 inches) and carry deadly explosives.

According to Estonian Defense Forces, quoted by Express, AMRAAM missiles are equipped with a self-destruction mode that should active in such a situation. However, it has not been confirmed whether the procedure was triggered and thus the possibility that the missile is somewhere on the ground. The Defense forces of Estonia have issued an alert, warning the public an unexploded missile or parts of it could be on the ground and if they come across it they should immediately contact the authorities. A search operation was also launched.

“I have ordered a suspension of all military sorties [by the Spanish jets] until the situation is resolved,” the Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik said, as cited by the national ERR broadcaster. He also further added that the NATO air mission will continue, however the Portuguese Air Force will take Spain’s place during the investigation.

Luik also further stressed that it is important to ensure safety and to discover what really happened. Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas commented, calling the incident “horrible” and “regrettable.” However, he also praised that the NATO mission calling it “very important and necessary part of ensuring Estonia’s security.”

However, the question is how the pilot accidentally launched the missile. The Eurofighter is smart aircraft. The Spanish jet has an armament control system (ACS) in place, part of the airplane’s brain that controls missile shots, among other things.

The fighter jet’s manual explains that for an air-to-air missile there is a procedure. The aircraft passes data about the target’s direction and speed before the missile launches. The manual also explains that a clean shot is completely intentional and is controlled by a process: “The system calculates the minimum and two maximum weapon ranges, which are marked on the scale as horizontal lines. The two maximum ranges differ as one range is based on the target remaining at 1g while the other assumes that the target will perform an escape maneuver.”

However, as reported by Popular Mechanics, there are times a pilot might need to make a quick shot. The Eurofighter can do this, according to the manual: “A gapped circle of fixed diameter, having six dashes and centered on the LFD, indicates the area in which the AMRAAM will search when launched in visual mode (7.5° around the bore sight, known as the acquisition cone.” As reported by Popular Mechanics, this is a dangerous move and is only made when a pilot is outnumbered by hostile aircraft, since the missile locks on to the first threat it detects. It is questionable if a NATO pilot would perform such an action by accident.

The investigation will reportedly look for human error, flight control computer bugs and other potential causes.

This is not an isolated case of the European military having a missile-related incident. In April 2018, US, UK and French forces had to fire missiles at supposedly three suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria. However, the three naval cruise missiles fired from the French frigate Languedoc were initially intended to come from a different French frigate whose first salvo simply “did not fire,” according to French Joint Chief of Staff spokesman Col. Patrick Steiger. France claimed that its forces still hit all targets. However, mishaps and incidents do happen with somewhat new and relatively untested equipment.

This video was originally released by SF on April 16, 2018:

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  • Tudor Miron

    Poking the bear and feeling brave and on the next day they are surprised that Russian army is in Paris (Napoleon) or Berlin (Hitler). Russia doesn’t start wars, Russia ends them.
    One smart person told be that western opinion on how Russians think and how they react is largely based on Russian literature and that’s one of their main mistakes..

    • You can call me Al

      I know what you did there. Thinking about Russian literature (books / papers) and then typing the word “write”.

  • Rob

    Pakistan PM Imran Khan after taking oath as PM, he should first visit Tehran, Damascus, Moscow, Ankara, China, North Korea and then Sana’a in Yemen because they all are one block.

    The main interest of US, UN, UK, NATO, Saudi and UAE is to destabilize every country in the world including Pakistan and establish their military bases their to interfere in their businesses. Therefore Imran Khan should not visit them.

    They have destabilised Afghanistan and whole Middle East for excuse to keep their military bases and forces there to stop their research and development.

  • FlorianGeyer

    ” The Eurofighter is smart aircraft. The Spanish jet has an armament control system (ACS) in place, part of the airplane’s brain that controls missile shots, among other things.”

    So ‘Smart’ in fact that the Saudi’s can bomb civilians in the Yemen with their eyes closed as the AI ‘artificial intelligence’ is derived from the ‘intelligence’ of those who designed the aircraft :)

    Perhaps NATO should register the errant missile on the Interpol Missing ‘Persons’ List.

    If anyone finds this ‘young’ missile , do not fondle it and inform the Child Welfare Officer of your local police dept immediately.

    • John Whitehot

      “The Eurofighter is smart aircraft.”

      I may be wrong, but for a second I thought Solomons ghost made a noise.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Lol.

  • hope springs eternal.

    Good news for Russia..One more NATO missile to decode!

    • Jesus

      AMRAAM is an old missile, the Russians have a better missile that has greater range and speed.

      • Trauma2000

        Maybe. but it’s still nice to have a ‘copy’ to work from.

    • John Whitehot

      amraam?

      it was already totally compromised in the mid 90ies.

    • AM Hants

      Must admit, that was my first thought. Hope Russia finds it first.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Too many cooks in the kitchen,spells disaster.someone is going to get burned very badly.

  • Rob

    Russia & China ‘can’t be our friends as they develop hypersonic weapons’ – US general

    • Tudor Miron

      Exceptional nation doesn’t have friends – only vassals.

      • John Whitehot

        and they are vassals themselves to the zionist.

      • Rob

        These are all evil and drunk nation, having no moral character how gonna they became exceptional.

        • Tudor Miron

          Selfclaimed exceptionalizm is a useful tool to justify blatant double standards.

          • Rob

            15% population of US living below standard lives. 5% US population are homeless and living in hostels and shelters and 100,000 poor persons even don’t have roof over heads and sleeping rough in the streets.

  • Jesus

    Maybe the Russians were goading the NATO jets and used some EW to confuse the Typhoon fire control system. After all, if NATO wants it to all hang out by the Russian borders, the Russians can play with them, the same way they did with Donald Cook, and other vessels that had erroneous perverted GPS data fed to them in the Black Sea.

    • John Whitehot

      “erroneous perverted GPS data”

      xDDDD

    • AM Hants

      Nice thought.

  • 1691

    I’ve got the feeling that the Russians are not going to investigate cause they already know. Have fun brothers! If nato does not collapse soon then they have a long way to go before they figure out what hit the fan.

  • Tommy Jensen

    As member of the Free world, Spain has the right to defend itself against any foreign oppressor and hostile actor who jeopardizes our freedom values with his aggressive behavior and attitude.

    • potcracker2588

      hahahaha……….first of all defend against WHO??? Freedom values?like kicking millions of spanish folks out of their houses and apartments??freedom for catalonia?no freedom there

      2. if u mean russia as a potential enemy in a war…LOL get a life donkey…u cant defend against russia u stupid donk, so cut the bs with your bs eurofighters….moron

    • John

      lol …….. C’mon man. Spain has no business up in Estonia. They are there because they were told to go. Playing around up there puts those pilots right in front of the best AA systems in the world, bar none. Poll the pilots and ask how they feel about that. I wish well to you Jensen.

    • David Parker

      Spain as a military power has been a joke ever since the Armada sank.
      When the commoners lost to Franco, freedom was lost for Spaniards. Until the scum who call themselves government self-destruct and common people can own land, elitists will rule in Spain.

  • John

    Ringling Bros. is alive and well indeed. The Russian border is not a good place to clown it fellas. And ……. of course……… the Russians probably monitored the entire incident. There is nothing like pulling a boner in front of your enemy.