Black Sea | Russian fighter intercepts US MQ-9 Reaper drone
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/03/2023 at 09:41

A Russian SU-27 fighter jet hit the propeller of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea, causing it to crash in international waters, the US military announced.

According to the same source, the Russian fighter was attempting to intercept the US drone.

The MQ-9 Reaper drone was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and struck by a Russian jet, resulting in the crash and destruction of the MQ-9, said General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, citing a dangerous and unprofessional action on the part of the Russians, which almost caused the two planes to crash.

Moscow denies that there was “contact” or fire from the Russian fighters, which caused the crash.

According to Washington, two Russian Su-27 aircraft intercepted the US spy drone and one of them crashed with it. Several times before the collision, the Russian fighter jets dumped fuel on the MQ-9 and flew in front of it in unsafe maneuvers, the US Army stated.

White House spokesman, John Kirby, announced that US President, Joe Biden, was informed of the incident, which occurred at 9 a.m. Tuesday Greek and Cyprus time.

He also emphasized that such interceptions have occurred in the past, but this one was remarkable and unique, because it was unsafe and unprofessional and caused the downing of the US “Reaper”.

Also read: Afghanistan | US says drone strike killed IS-K planner

Russia’s ambassador to Washington will be summoned to the US State Department. The US ambassador in Moscow delivered a strong message to the Russian Foreign Ministry and US officials have informed their allies and partners about the incident and the downing of a US drone, Price told reporters during a telephone briefing.

The Russian military admitted that two Russian fighters intercepted the US drone in the Black Sea on Tuesday, but assured that they did not target it or cause it to go down. As a result of a brutal maneuver the MQ-9 drone began an uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and hit the surface of the water, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

US and allied drones will continue to operate in international airspace and we urge the Russians to behave professionally, the US military said. According to a Western military source, diplomatic channels between Washington and Moscow have been activated to prevent any escalation.

The Black Sea is located between Europe and Asia and borders Russia and Ukraine among other countries. Its airspace is the site of very regular confrontations between drones and aircraft from NATO countries and the Russian Armed Forces.

With information from: Euronews

Also read: India | Procurement of 30 “MQ-9 Reaper” UCAVs from the USA




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