LONDON (HPD) — Britain’s defense secretary revealed Thursday that a Russian warplane launched a missile near a Royal Air Force plane operating in international airspace over the Black Sea last month.
Ben Wallace told the House of Commons that an unarmed RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint spy plane “interacted” with two Russian SU-27 planes. One of the fighter jets “dropped a missile in the vicinity of” the British plane beyond visual range, he said.
Although it is not unusual for planes to be followed in international airspace, Wallace said he has suspended flights and demanded an explanation from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“The response from the Russian defense minister on October 10 was that they have conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and that it was a technical malfunction of the SU-27 fighter jet,” Wallace told lawmakers. “They further acknowledged that the incident occurred in international airspace.”
Wallace said the flights have resumed but are now accompanied by fighter jets.