Russian fighter jet fires missile near unarmed RAF plane patrolling over Black Sea

20 October 2022, 12:29 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 12:46

RAF Rivet Joint
RAF Rivet Joint. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

A Russian fighter jet fired a missile near an RAF plane on a routine patrol over the Black Sea.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the unarmed RAF Rivet Joint was on routine patrol on September 29 when it was shot at by two Su-27 fighter jets.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Wallace said this was a "potentially dangerous engagement" and the Russian jets had been tailing the RAF spy plane for 90 minutes.

He said: "I've communicated my concerns directly to my Russian counterpart, Defence Minister Shoigu and the Chief of Defence Staff in Moscow.

"In my letter, I made clear that the aircraft was unarmed back in international airspace, following a pre-notified flight path.

"I felt it was prudent to suspend these patrols until response was received by the Russian state."

Defence Sec: Russia fired missile 'in the vicinity' of RAF spy plane

RAF Rivet Joint
RAF Rivet Joint. Picture: Alamy

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Mr Wallace said he received a reply from the Russian minister of defence on October 10 who claimed the firing was down to a "technical malfunction" with the Su-27 fighter.

He said: "We are dealing with a president and indeed Russian forces who, as we've seen from the Rivet Joint incident, not beyond making the wrong calculation... that the rules don't apply to them."

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