A RUSSIAN fighter jet has crashed into the sea near the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which was part of a fleet of vessels that skirted the UK shoreline en route to the Mediterranean last month.
One of three MiG-29 fighter jets that had left the carrier for a mission over Syria ditched into the sea soon after take off.
A rescue helicopter was dispatched to pick the pilot and parachute out of the water.
Fox News said two US intelligence officers had confirmed the incident.
Sergei Artamonov, the commander of Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov, spoke last week via video link to say that the ships are already “jointly carrying out tasks” following their arrival in the Mediterranean.
Military planes have been seen taking off from the aircraft carrier in order to view the conflict zone.
Speaking to Russia-1 television, Artamonov said: “Flights are being carried out from the deck… they are working on coordination with the shore port.
“The flights have been going on practically every day for the last four days.”
The flotilla started its journey in the North Sea, travelling through the English Channel to beef up Russia’s military intervention in the country.
The fleet made international headlines after Spain sparked international fury by allowing the warships to refuel and take on supplies at the Spanish port of Cueta, just weeks after France and Spain drafted an Aleppo truce deal with the UN Security Council.
Nato are closely monitoring the warships amid fears that their involvement could risk more suffering and cause further deaths.