A Russian military exercise took a dangerous turn after a £29million Sukhoi Su-30 was shot out of the sky.
"According to preliminary data, the Su-30 was accidentally hit during the drills by another aircraft," said an emergency services source.
The horrifying incident occurred during war games in Tver, north-east of Moscow.
A Russian air force Su-35S fighter was also reportedly involved in the accidental shoot-down.
While it was not carrying missiles, the Su-35S’s fearsome Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 30mm autocannon had been loaded before takeoff.
While attempting to record a simulated “kill” on its gun camera, the Su-35S pilot accidentally fired the cannon.
It’s understood that both of the Su-30’s two crew members successfully bailed out. No casualties have reported on the ground.
The Russian defence ministry admitted the crash but did not immediately confirm the report that the plane had been shot down.
A local woman told the emergency services she saw the moment of the crash.
Horror as military jet on runway accidentally fires missile into house killing 5
She reported seeing three warplanes in the air. One suddenly started flying upwards, trailing smoke.
The witness saw two pilots ejecting, she said, as the aircraft continued flying for some time before crashing in a forest.
A picture from Russia’s Life news outlet showed a huge number of emergency vehicles at the crash site in Vyshnevolotsky district of Tver region.
The 1,320 mph,Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat all weather fighter that can carry a huge array of bombs and missiles alongside its air-to air armament.
The Su-35S, which was introduced in 2008, is a single-seat, twin-engine, super manoeuvrable aircraft that was first deployed in Syria during Russia’s 2016 intervention in the Syrian Civil War. It’s described as being easily the equal of America’s F35 stealth fighter.
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