Updated: 06/12/16 : 06:27:25
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World :: Second Russian jet crashes during carrier landing

A Russian military jet has crashed as its pilot attempted to land on an aircraft carrier near Syria, an official has said.

The Su-33 Sukhoi plane was landing on the Admiral Kuznetsov in the Mediterranean, Russian news agencies reported.

The defence ministry said the pilot, who was on his way back from a sortie over Syria, ejected from the plane and is safe.

The incident happened just weeks after another jet crashed into the Mediterranean involving the same carrier.

The ministry says in a statement that "because of the failure of the arrester system's cable, the Su-33 fighter rolled off the deck".

The statement added that operations over Syria would be unaffected as a result of the incident.

The carrier is the one that passed through the English Channel on the way to the eastern Mediterranean in October.

Another Russian fighter jet crashed into the sea off Syria while taking off from the Admiral Kuznetsov in November.

That pilot, who was flying a MiG-29K, also survived, Russia's defence ministry said.

The Kuznetsov is Russia's only aircraft carrier and is rumoured to be beset with reliability problems.

Another ship in the carrier group, the Osipov, nearly caused a diplomatic incident after it requested permission to resupply in a Spanish port - something that was questioned by NATO.

A Dutch submarine, which the Russians claimed was tracking their naval movements, was then chased away after the convoy entered the Mediterranean, according to Moscow.

Aircraft with the carrier's task force, which was eventually described by the Russians as "jointly carrying out tasks, manoeuvring to the west of the Syrian coast", were expected to join the Syrian bombardment of rebels in Aleppo.

Syrian activists said on Monday that Russian and Syrian aircraft have stepped up their assaults on the rebel-held province of Idlib, a day after air raids killed more than 60 people.