Estonia has concluded its investigation of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile launched by the Spanish NATO Baltic Air Policing aircraft August 7, 2018 in the course of the air exercise in Estonia´s air space.
The investigation found that the missile was accidentally fired as a result of the pilot’s failure to comply with the safety rules and regulations and not by a systematic error. The incident caused no threat to civilian aviation as for the exercises Allies reserve training areas cleared of civil air traffic.
The investigation also found the current regulations and rules already in place to be sufficient to guarantee the safety, it´s crucial that these regulations are followed at all times across the Alliance’s missions and operations.
The missile has not been located and the Estonian population has been requested to inform the rescue and safety authorities if found – the remains of the missile may still be hazardous.
NATO Baltic Air Policing mission continues to operate and security of the Estonia´s air space is guaranteed.
NATO Baltic Air Policing has been one of the Alliance´s success stories, which was started in the 2004, from 2014 the mission is also operated from Ämari, Estonia in addition to Siauliai, Lithuania - this was the first incident of its kind in the history of the entire mission.
The investigation was carried out by the Estonian Ministry of Defence and the representatives from the civilian agencies under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the investigation focused on the rules and regulations of the safety of the military as well as the civilian air traffic.
Estonia received relevant and timely information from Spain about the incident and would like to thank the Spanish authorities for a constructive cooperation.
Spain is an important and committed Ally - Spanish jets have regularly participated the mission, it was the fifth time Spanish aircraft took part in the mission, and Estonia is ready to welcome them back.