The Estonian MoD said on Wednesday that starting from August 27 the airspace of the country will be reopened for training flights of NATO countries’ aircraft despite an incident with a missile mistakenly launched by a Spanish military aircraft earlier in August.
On August 7, a Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 military aircraft belonging to the Spanish Air Force mistakenly fired an AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile while flying over Estonia’s south. The missile traveled approximately 80 kilometers (49 miles) after which it allegedly fell in an abandoned area not far from the Endla Nature Reserve in central Estonia. The Estonian servicemen managed to find neither missile nor its fragments during careful searches in the area.
“To ensure the security of Estonia, it is necessary to carry out the NATO mission in our airspace in full volume, including training of combat maneuvers. Flights will be continued starting from August 27,” the press service said, citing Defense Minister Juri Luik.
On August 17, the Estonian servicemen terminated the active searches for the missile.
NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission aims at ensuring the safety of the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The mission was launched in 2004 when the three states joined NATO. As the Baltic states achieve not possess jets that could carry out air policing, NATO members’ jets stationed in Lithuania, including Eurofighter Typhoon 2000, control their airspace on a rotational basis.
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