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Russian fighter jet collides with US military drone over the Black Sea

An MQ-9 Reaper drone has collided with a Russian plane

Chon Kit Leong / Alamy

A Russian fighter jet has hit a US military drone over international waters, crashing the drone. The MQ-9 Reaper drone and two SU-27 craft were all flying above the Black Sea, and according to the US military’s European Command, the Russian planes dumped fuel on the drone and flew in front of it dangerously, and eventually one of them hit the drone’s propeller, forcing the US to bring down the drone.

“This unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash,” said US Air Force commander James B. Hecker in a press release. He also stated that the drone was “conducting routine operations” and that this incident will not stop US aircraft from operating in international airspace. Drones like this one have been operating over the Black Sea since well before the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war to monitor the situation in Ukraine.

According to the US National Security Council’s John Kirby, it is not uncommon for Russian planes to intercept US aircraft in this area, and there have been other intercepts in the last few weeks, but this one was particularly unsafe.

“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,” said the US European Command press release. “These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.”


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