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"Rocket incident" made the Baltic States fear "scandal with the Russians"

"Rocket incident" made the Baltic States fear "scandal with the Russians"

August 8 2018
Tags: Estonia, the Baltics, the Air Force, Aircraft, Incidents, NATO, Europe

The whole of the Baltic States is vigorously discussing the incident that happened the day before in Estonia. The Spanish fighter accidentally launched an air-to-air missile, the fragments of which are still being searched. Fortunately, no one was hurt - except for those political myths about Russia that the Baltic politicians broadcast. But what would happen if this missile crossed the border of Russia?

The president of Latvia Раймонд Вейонис on Wednesday did not hide the irritation. This follows directly from his statement (quoted by Delfi) that Moscow is using for its own purposes the situation with a Spanish fighter that accidentally fired an air-to-air missile in the skies of Estonia. According to the President of Latvia, Russia is allegedly interested in making a fuss about the threat posed by the NATO troops concentrated near the Russian border.

Vejonis tried to justify the incident with the NATO fighter with a human factor, noting, however, that "people need to be very responsible, especially if they use military equipment."

Recall, on Wednesday, the Estonian Defense Ministry removed Spanish air defense fighters from participating in the NATO airspace mission of the Baltic states Baltic Air Policing after the Air Force plane of Spain accidentally released a military missile during a training flight. Now instead of the Spaniards, the sky is patrolled by the Portuguese.

The incident itself occurred on Tuesday at 15.44, the ABC newspaper reported. The Spanish fighter Eurofighter mistakenly launched the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. The missile disappeared from the zone of visibility in 40 km from Tartu, flying to the north.

The investigation is being conducted by the Estonian Air Force, Spain and NATO. All the forces are now cast in search of a rocket or its fragments. As the newspaper ABC pointed out, the rocket was launched in a self-destructing mode. However, the Estonian military department does not exclude that the missile fell in an unidentified place and did not explode. However, according to the Estonian newspaper Postimees, Tartu resident Erik Rosenthal heard strong cotton on the city on Tuesday afternoon. That it could be an explosion of a self-destructed missile, he thought only in the evening when he learned from the news about the incident with the missile.

Honored military pilot of the 1 class, combatant Major-General Vladimir Popov also believes that the missile has self-destructed. Nevertheless, he did not rule out that if the missile was dropped without starting the engine, it could fall to the ground like a pig. In such cases, detonation, as a rule, does not occur.

Popov stressed that "air-to-air" missiles are practically not used on the ground, but if we assume that it was mistakenly launched on a ground target, then "the destructive force is large enough." "If you compare it to a bomb, then the efficiency of the combat charge will be about 50-100 kg. It is necessary to take into account its dynamic forces during the explosion, shock wave, striking elements. If such a missile falls into a five-story building, then two floors will be destroyed, people will have a concussion and defeat by fragments, "explained the pilot.

"In case of hitting a settlement, there could be great sacrifices. The "air-to-air" missile warhead is a large number of fragments by which it hits an enemy aircraft, "member of the Senate Defense and Security Committee Franz Klintsevich told the newspaper VIEW.

Popov wondered why in peacetime during a training flight to fly with a military missile. According to Popov, this is not necessary and "here is a question for politicians and military NATO structures."

According to the commander of the Estonian Air Force Rivo Valge, the radius of the missile's flight can be 100 km. In this regard, the head of the Internal Security Institute of the Academy of the Interior Erkki Coort did not rule out that the missile could in the worst case be in the Estonian-Russian border zone or even fly to the eastern border, that is, to get to the Pechory or fall on the other side of Lake Peipsi. "The Russians would not believe that this is an accident," Coort argues. "The Russians would make a big scandal out of this."

Deputy Chairman of the Council of Foreign Affairs of the Council of Federation Vladimir Jabarov believes that the incident in Estonia in any case has a huge and difficult political significance. "The missile could get to the territory of Russia. It would have been intercepted by our air defense systems. Probably, there would be a retaliatory strike, "Jabarov suggested to the newspaper VZGLYAD.

He reminded that in the West they do not heed the warnings of Russia about the danger of NATO approaching its borders. "They do not listen to us. They speak about some systems that work against the Iranian nuclear program. But what happens in fact? If such an incident repeats itself?

And if something really happened? Little Estonia does not understand that it will be instantly ground, if, God forbid, there will be some kind of clash.

Whatever they say, very much in life decides the case. Remember the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which was one of the reasons for the outbreak of the First World War. It is necessary to return the contact group Russia-NATO and stop provocative flights, they will end sadly, "the senator warned.

However, military experts are not sure that Russia would automatically strike back in Estonia, without specifying all the circumstances. Even if the missile had flown towards the Russian border, the Russian Federation would have nothing to worry about, former Lieutenant-Commander of the Russian Air Force on issues of the CIS Joint Air Defense System Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev told the newspaper VZGLYAD.

"On duty radar means this missile would have been accurately detected. And if it crossed our border, our air defenses would be accurately shot down, "the expert said. "The missile was accurately seen and civilian controls, and air traffic control, and Russian air defense systems," he concluded.

However, one of the air defense generals in the commentary "MK", ​​on condition of anonymity, noted that at the beginning of the war, the so-called casus belli, this case does not draw, since this is only a single, not a massive blow.

"In such cases - and such have happened to us, too, when, for example, our missiles flew into Kazakhstan during the exercises near Astrakhan - an official note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on violation of the state border was officially made. And here, diplomats begin to apologize to each other, "the general said. So, in his opinion, the further development of events would have gone through the MFA.

However, if we imagine that something like this happened on our part, then the international hype would be terrible,

the general is sure. "From various politicians and Western media, we would very long listen to accusations of Russia's aggressive plans, plans to occupy the Baltic states, unleash a war, which might even be another reason for deploying additional NATO forces in this region," the source said. .

Alexey Nechaev, Andrei Rezchikov
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