According to British Defence Minister Ben Wallace, a Russian SU-27 jet fighter recently fired a missile at an unarmed British surveillance aircraft as it was flying in the airspace over the Black Sea region. The conflict occurred on September 29 when two Russian SU-27s intercepted the British Boeing RC-135 while it was returning to base after patrolling, and one of them launched a missile over it.
Wallace claimed that he wrote a letter expressing his concerns about this “possibly deadly engagement” to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu and the head of the Russian defence staff in Moscow. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported on October 10 that it was an accident. During the flight, there was a malfunction, and the aircraft unintentionally fired a missile in the direction of the British aircraft.
“The SU-27’s pilot did not intentionally fire the missile because it was not targeted. If the missile had been aimed against the British RC-135, If the British RC-135 was the target, it didn’t survive the attack”.
According to the British Air Force, It is not the first time Russian warplanes approached any British aircraft. Sometimes, Russian strategic bombers fly near British borders, where British and Russian jets frequently fly overhead. From 2005 to 2022, the British air force is expected to have intercepted Russian aircraft over 135 times when they passed close to their boundaries.
Since the conflict, the Royal Airforce have restarted patrolling the regions near the Black sea. Now they are escorted by jet fighters equipped with lethal weapons and high-range radars capable of detecting approaching enemy aircraft from a distance.
The airspace around Ukraine is also patrolled by spy planes and UAVs from the UK and other NATO countries with a planned schedule to monitor every activity in the battleground since Russia started the war on February 22.