Russian fighter jet shoots down US drone over Black Sea

News » Incidents Russian fighter jet shoots down US drone over Black Sea

On Tuesday, a Russian fighter jet shot down a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea.

damaged the propeller of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, a US official familiar with the incident said.

A Reaper drone and two Su-27 Flanker fighter jets were over the international waters of the Black Sea when one of the Russian fighters intentionally flew in front of the drone. aircraft and drained the fuel in front of it, according to the official. Then one of the planes damaged the Reaper's propeller, which is mounted on the back of the drone, the official said. A propeller failure forced the US to sink the Reaper in international waters in the Black Sea.

The US Air Force released a statement accusing the Russian aircraft of “reckless, unreasonable and unprofessional actions.”

“At approximately 7:03 am CET, one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft hit the propeller of an MQ-9, causing US forces to shoot down the MQ-9 in international waters. On several occasions prior to the collision, the Su-27s were dumped fuel and flew in front of the MQ-9s in a reckless, unsafe and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” US Air Force General James B. Hecker, commander of US Air Force Europe and Air Force Africa, said in a statement.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday morning, according to National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby.

Kirby said that Russian aircraft intercepting US aircraft over the Black Sea is “not uncommon” and noted that there have been other interceptions in recent weeks.

But he said Tuesday's episode unique in how “unsafe, unprofessional and reckless” Russian and US aircraft have already flown over the Black Sea during the war in Ukraine, but this is the first known such interaction , a potentially dangerous escalation at a critical time in hostilities.

The US has been using Reaper drones over the Black Sea since the beginning of the war, using them to monitor the area. According to the Air Force, the Reaper drones can fly at altitudes up to 15,000 meters, are equipped with sensors and capabilities for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance over a long period of time, making them an ideal platform for tracking movements on the battlefield and in the Black Sea.

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