Russians too close for comfort for Belgian F-16s
Russian freight plane caused damage to Belgian fighter jets.In the war against terror in Afghanistan three Belgian F-16s have been damaged on the tarmac at Kandahar Airport.
The Belgian fighter jets sustained the damage from stones thrown up into the air when a Russian freight plane came too close to the parked aircraft.
The Russian civilian plane made a mistake and taxied too near the Belgian F16s, blasting stones and sand into their engines.
The engines of the three aircraft were ripped to bits.
Belgian technicians were soon able to replace one of the engines, but replacements are needed for the two others.
These will be flown in on Monday by a Belgian C130 Hercules transport plane.
With one aircraft immediately repaired the Belgians were able to meet their commitment and had two fighter jets back in the air patrolling the airspace above Kandahar Airport on Saturday night.
Last year Belgium sent four F16 fighter jets to southern Afghanistan as part of the Nato mission in the country.
They have the task of protecting the airport in the southern Afghan city.