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Second Russia jet crashes in failed carrier landing near Syria

Russia’s defence ministry said Monday a Sukhoi jet fell into the sea after a malfunction as it tried to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier following a bombing raid in Syria.

It was the second such crash involving Russia’s lone carrier in a month, since it arrived in the eastern Mediterranean to bolster Moscow’s airpower in Syria.

“After carrying out its military assignment in Syrian airspace, a Su-33 fighter rolled beyond the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier during landing due to breakage of the arresting cable,” said a defence ministry statement quoted by Russian news agencies.

The pilot ejected from the plane and reached the ship safely, it said, without specifying when the incident happened although reports mentioned Saturday.

It said the carrier’s planes were continuing to work in the Mediterranean with flights “continuing in accordance with the tasks.”

A MiG-29K crashed in the middle of last month due to a “technical fault”, going down a few kilometres from the carrier off the Syrian coast.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, the Russian navy’s only aircraft carrier, was sent to participate in the Syria operations in October after completing a retrofit.

Russia has been engaged in an air campaign over Syria since September 2015 in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.