Losses and Aviation Safety

Spanish Air Force Eurofighter accidentally fired AIM-120 AMRAAM over Estonia

Even if the AIM-120 has a built-in self-destruction mode, it is possible that it did not exploded and debris of the 3.7 meters long weapon crashed on the ground

On Aug. 7, 2018 at 15:44 local time a Spanish Air Force Eurofighter flying over Pangodi during the incident, some 40 kilometers north of Tartu, in south Estonia accidentally fired a AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile.

The Estonian Ministry of Defense said the missile was suppose to self-destruct in such a situation but it does not rule out that the missile might have hit the ground.

In fact even if the missile has a built-in self-destruction mode, it is possible that it did not exploded and debris of the 3.7 meters long weapon crashed on the ground. Military personnel is in search of debris locations.

The Spanish Typhoon, supporting the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, landed safely at its base in Šiauliai in Lithuania.

The AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile) missile is a versatile and proven weapon with operational flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios.

The weapon’s advanced active guidance section provides aircrew with a high degree of combat flexibility and lethality.

Procured by 37 countries, the combat-proven AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier. The AIM-120C5 and AIM-120C7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35 and support the U.S. Marine Corp’s F-35B initial operational capability as the only air-to-air missile qualified on the F-35.

Photo credit: Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK (Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon ‘C.16-48 / 14-12’) via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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