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JAS fighter almost shoots down Swedish civilian aircraft

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21:55 CEST+02:00
ÄLVSBYN A Swedish civilian aircraft was almost hit by a shot from a Czech JAS fighter plane near the Vidsel base in Norbotten, northern Sweden, it has been revealed.

The shot from the fighter plane passed just 15 metres from the other plane.

"It was a serious incident," said Ulf Lindström, spokesman at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

The Czech airforce rents a number of JAS Gripen planes from Sweden.

As part of the Czech airforce's training they take part in exercises in Norbotten. One of these is shooting at a moving target. This is towed at the end of a 600 metre long steel cable behind a Swedish civilian plane, a Learjet 35.

On Wednesday something went wrong.

"For some reason he didn't lock onto the target but onto something in the vicinity of the plane. It was very close," said Ulf Lundström.

If the shot from the fighter plane had hit the Learjet, it could have been shot down. The crew onboard realised what had happened and the misdirected shot was also seen on the videotape of the exercise - which was immediately stopped.

FMV has now begun an investigation into the incident, according to Aftonbladet.

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