U.S. General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone crashes after colliding with Russian Su-27 Flanker over the Black Sea.
The U.S. European Command stated that a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 struck the propeller of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper: “Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner.”
According to the statement released by the US European Command the unmanned aircraft ditched in international waters. The mishap happened as two Russian fighters performed an “unsafe
The statement says that, at approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9 RPA, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters.
EUCOM says that several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner”, demonstrating “a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional”.
“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, of U.S. Air Forces Europe, and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”
The Russian MoD claimed that the MQ-9 lost control as a result of ‘sharp maneuvering’ after being intercepted.
This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and Allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea. These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.