A Russian Su-27 fighter jet crashed off the coast of annexed Crimea late Wednesday, prompting a search-and-rescue mission in the Black Sea, news agencies cited the military as saying.
The Su-27 was carrying out a planned mission when it vanished from radars at around 8 p.m. 50 kilometers from the Crimean town of Feodosia, according to Interfax. The Defense Ministry said it received an emergency radio beacon alert near the crash site.
“There’s hope that there’s a rubber boat with the pilot,” Russia’s Federal Sea and River Transportation Agency told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Thursday.
At least six vessels and two aircraft are involved in the search mission, which authorities say is hampered by bad weather.
Earlier on Wednesday, an L-39 training aircraft crashed in southern Russia’s Krasnodar region near Crimea, killing one cadet. The Defense Ministry said a technical error may have caused the accident.
The Sukhoi Su-27, a twin-engine fighter aircraft, joined the Soviet military forces in 1984. One jet can carry up to six medium-range guided missiles and up to four short-range missiles.
The Su-27 was developed primarily for Russia’s air-defense interceptor forces and designed for long-range and short-range aerial warfare.