RUSSIA nearly shot down a British jet in a terrifying near miss off the coast of Ukraine, leaked military documents reveal.
Last year Defence Secretary Ben Wallace revealed a fighter jet fired a missile near an RAF “nuke sniffer” spy plane over the Black Sea.
RAFThe unarmed RAF Rivet Joint was on routine patrol when it was tailed by the Russians[/caption]
AlamyThe Russian jets were tailing the four-engine RAF plane for 90 minutes[/caption]
Speaking in the Commons in October Mr Wallace dubbed it a “dangerous” clash.
At the time the Defence Secretary told MPs how the unarmed RAF Rivet Joint was on routine patrol in international airspace in September when it was tailed by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets.
Mr Wallace then revealed that during the 90-minute interaction off the coast of Ukraine one of the Su-27s fired a missile near the RAF plane.
He described it as a “potentially dangerous engagement”.
But leaked U.S. military document circulating online have now detailed the seriousness of what happened on September 29.
The Washington Post reported the classified documents referred to the incident as a “near-shoot down of UK RJ” – which is the name of the fighter jet.
At the time Mr Wallace said Russia blamed the missile launch on a “technical malfunction” with the Su-27 fighter.
He told parliament: “We don’t consider this a deliberate escalation by the Russians, our analysis would concur it was a malfunction.
“However, it is a reminder of quite how dangerous things can be when you choose to use your fighters in the manner that the Russians have done over many periods of time.”
The RAF RC-135W “soaks up” enemy signals and is also known as a ‘nuke sniffer’ because of its capability to test the atmosphere for evidence of radioactivity.
The four-engine jets are used by Britain to conduct electronic surveillance on enemy targets by monitoring signals from radars and other systems.
After the shocking incident such patrols were suspended but quickly resumed – with fighter escorts.
Mr Walace said: “The UK Ministry of Defence has shared this information with allies and, after consultation, I have restarted routine patrols, but this time escorted by fighter aircraft.
“Everything we do is considered and calibrated with regard to ongoing conflict in the region and in accordance with international law.
“We welcome Russia’s acknowledgement this was in international airspace, and the UK has conducted regular sorties with the RAF Rivet Joint in international airspace over the Black Sea since 2019 and we will continue to do so.”
The document leak comes as other top-secret intelligence plans were published online.
The classified US documents revealing Ukraine’s intentions ahead of a planned spring offensive against Russia were leaked.
The top secret military documents that contained details of US and Nato plans to help Ukraine prepare, were shared on Twitter and on Telegram.
Meanwhile, experts have warned a desperate Vladimir Putin could resort to using chemical weapons in the West in a bid to sabotage arms supplies to Ukraine.