An archive photo of a Spanish Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon (Picture: Gerard van der Schaaf).
An investigation into a missile accidentally fired over the skies of Estonia by a Spanish aircraft has been opened.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence confirmed that the missile was fired by one of their Eurofighter jets:
"A Spanish Eurofighter based in Lithuania accidentally fired a missile without causing any harm.
"The air-to-air missile has not hit any aircraft. The defence ministry has opened an investigation to clarify the exact cause of the incident".
Another Spanish Eurofighter jets and two French Mirage 2000 jets were also participating in the training exercise when the incident happened.
They then returned to an air base in northern Lithuania where they are based.
The AMRAAM type missile’s firing range is 100 km, it is 3.7 m long, 18 cm in diameter and carries a warhead. The last supposed location of the rocket is about 40 km North of Tartu.
NATO released a statement following the accidental firing saying:
"Yesterday a Spanish NATO Baltic Air Policing Eurofighter accidentally fired an air-to-air missile in the Estonian airspace in the temporarily segregated area over Pangodi. The flight path, location, and status of the missile are currently under investigation.
"The missile has a built-in self-destruction mode, but it is not ruled out that it has landed on the ground.
"The Estonian Air Force launched a missile search operation and there is an ongoing investigation underway.
"The Defense Forces have asked people who notice something that resembles a missile on the ground, to move away from it, and inform immediately the Air Force.
"The Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 landed in its base in Siauliai where it is based. Securing Baltic air sovereignty with Baltic Air Policing Mission from Ämari and Shiauliai will continue to operate."
On Facebook, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas 'thanked God' that there were no human casualties:
"I am sure that the Estonian defence forces will, in cooperation with our allies, identify all the circumstances of the case and make every effort to make sure that nothing like this happens again."