Russia attempted to shoot down an RAF Rivet Joint aircraft

An RC-135 Rivet Joint from RAF Waddington (OGL)
An RC-135 Rivet Joint from RAF Waddington (OGL)

Russian fighter jets launched two missiles at a Royal Air Force (RAF) RC135 Rivet Joint spy plane in an attempt to shoot it down last september according to a report by the BBC.

The incident was previously known about and Russia claimed the launches were caused by a “technical malfunction” but sources close to the incident have now said the launch was a deliberate act.

It is understood that the pilot of one fighter thought he had been given permission to fire on the aircaft which was patrolling over the black sea and fired a missile which missed.

He then fired a second missile which failed to launch and simlly fell off the wing.

During the incident the Rivet Joint aircraft had around 30 British personnel onboard who were listening to communications including from the the two intercepting aircraft.

Had the missile.not missed then it would have been an effective act of war against the UK by Russia.

During the the incident the 2nd russian pilot swore at his wingman saying they did not have permission to engage the RAF aircraft.

The RC135 Rivet Joint is a military variant of the Boeing 707 airframe used for electronic surveillance. They are based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

Officially the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has accepted Russia’s explanatiom of a technical malfunction.

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