mig29kA Russian navy MiG-29K fighter crashed into the Mediterranean while attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier after operating over Syria, Fox News reports.

A helicopter recovered the pilot, whose status is unknown, US officials told Fox.

Recent reports and videos suggest that Russia began the Kuznetsov’s first combat deployment last week in the Mediterranean to support Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Experts agree that the Kuznetsov’s deployment to Syria doesn’t meaningfully increase Russia’s capabilities in the area and that the deployment was done more for propaganda purposes and to showcase Moscow’s military hardware, like the MiG-29K, which was featured prominently in a flashy video of the operations aboard the Kuznetsov.

The news of the crash could hurt Russia’s prospects of exporting the plane to nations like India, Thailand, and China, which also operate MiGs and ski-slope-style aircraft carriers.

Source: Yahoo F.