A Russian Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29SMT fighter jet crashes in southern under unknown circumstances. The pilot died in the crash.
The upgraded MiG-29SMT was not carrying an arms load when it crashed in a deserted area of the Astrakhan region that borders the Caspian Sea, the Defense Ministry’s Southern Military District was quoted as saying.
“The plane crashed due to equipment failure,” Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying.
“The pilot was killed,” they added.
It said the jet was on a routine mission when it crashed on the Ashuluk training ground. The reason behind the incident is being investigated, it said.
The MiG-29SMT is an upgraded MiG-29M variant, developed in 2005, with a redesigned airframe and an electronic flight control system.
Once Cold War icons, MiG aircraft have been plagued by reputational setbacks amid embarrassing incidents and failure to secure key export contracts after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The MiG-29SMT crashed 36 hours after a prototype of the Ilyushin Il-112V military transport plane crashed during a test flight at an airfield outside Moscow, killing all three crew on board.