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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

A Russian military jet almost collided with a passenger plane


File photo of a Russian jet.
File photo of a Russian jet.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A RUSSIAN JET almost collided with a passenger jet in Swedish airspace yesterday – the second time that has happened this year.

Swedish officials say the Russian jet  turned off its transponders to avoid commercial radar and nearly collided with a passenger plane yesterday.

“This is serious. This is inappropriate. This is outright dangerous when you turn off the transponder,” Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said on Swedish radio.

In recent months, Russia has increased its military presence in the Baltic Sea area, prompting some Swedish officials to compare it to the Cold War.

The incident comes two months after Sweden began a search for a “small, foreign submarine” that had entered its waters.

Swedish authorities today said a Russian military aircraft nearly collided above southern Sweden with a commercial passenger jet that had taken off yesterday from Copenhagen.

Sweden’s air force chief, Major General Micael Byden, said the aircraft’s transponders, which make the plane visible to commercial radar, were shut off.

Swedish fighter jets were sent up to identify the aircraft, and Hultqvist later identified it as a Russian intelligence plane.

While saying the incident was “pretty serious”,  Byden said this was not as serious as an incident in March when a Russian plane flying without transponders came within 100 metres of an SAS plane that had taken off from Copenhagen.

Read: Sweden is chasing a Russian submarine

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