The Sukhoi Su-27 reportedly crashed into the Black Sea during a routine flight, 50 km from Théodosie.
A distress signal emitted by the ELT plane was recorded in the area at 20:11 LT, a statement said.
A rescue operation was immediately launched. An An-26 aircraft and a Mi-8 helicopter from the Southern Military District emergency services were deployed in the crash zone.
A statement issued by Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that, “Around 08.10 pm Moscow time [17:10 GMT] on March 25, a Su-27 fighter flying a scheduled mission over the Black Sea at a distance of about 50 kilometers [31 miles] from the town of Feodosia, disappeared from radar screens. An emergency radio beacon signal was detected in the area”. The official news release went on to say that, “The search for the pilot in the area of the operation is complicated by difficult weather conditions”.
The emergency radio locator beacon could have been automatically triggered by the aircraft’s ejection sequence depending upon its configuration.
Official reports from the crash scene also suggest that the search and rescue mission currently underway is significant, including two rescue helicopters, a Russian Navy frigate and several civilian vessels.
Russia’s maritime operations services told: “The signal has been detected. A helicopter is heading to that region. It is very far from the search zone, from the initial coordinates,”
A Black Sea Fleet corvette and civilian ships that were near the scene of the incident are also participating in the search operation.
No further information was immediately available.
The Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO Flanker Code) is a Russian single-seat fighter aircraft equipped with a 30 mm cannon and having a range of 3,900 kilometers. It has given birth to many versions, some of which have been given a new designation: Su-30, Su-33, Su-35, Su-37.