Russian fighter crashes in Med
Russia’s defense ministry said Monday that a fighter jet crashed while attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean off Syria, but the pilot survived. In a statement to Russian news agencies, the defense ministry said the MiG-29K fighter crashed due to a “technical fault” a few kilometres from the carrier. The pilot ejected and was recovered and taken aboard the ship. “The pilot’s health is in no danger. The pilot is ready to carry out missions,” the ministry said, quoted by Interfax news agency.
The defense ministry did not say when the incident occurred, but said the plane was taking part in training flights. It stressed that flights were still going ahead from the aircraft carrier despite the accident. “The flights of aircraft from the carrier are continuing in accordance with the set tasks,” it said. The ministry released a statement after US broadcaster Fox News reported the crash, citing US officials.
The Mig-29K is a multi-functional plane developed in the Soviet era and is used to strike targets both in the air and on the ground. Russia acquired 24 MiG fighters last year. It also deploys Sukhoi bomber planes in Syria. The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier arrived in the eastern Mediterranean off the Syrian coast as part of a flotilla of ships sent to reinforce Russia’s military in the area, its commander confirmed on state television. — AFP