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A Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with a US drone over the Black Sea

The Russian Su-27 jet fighter collided with the US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the US military command in Europe announced.

Photo: Tsgt. Emerson Nunez/Us Air/

The Russian Su-27 jet fighter collided with the US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the US military command in Europe announced.

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and jammed by a Russian aircraft, causing the crash and total loss of the MQ-9,” said General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Africa.

“This unsafe and unprofessional behavior by the Russians almost resulted in the loss of both aircraft,” Hecker said.

“One of the Russian Su-27 aircraft hit the MQ-9’s propeller, forcing US forces to shoot the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27 refueled and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally harmful and in an unprofessional manner. This incident shows a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” Hecker said.

He added that US and allied aircraft would continue to operate in international airspace and called on the Russians to act professionally and safely.

NATO diplomats in Brussels confirmed the incident, but said they did not expect the incident to immediately escalate into further confrontation.

A Western military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that diplomatic channels between Russia and the US would be activated.

“I think it will be resolved through diplomatic channels,” the source said.

The White House condemned the “reckless” collision of a Russian jet with a US drone.

“It’s not unusual (…) for Russian aircraft to intercept US aircraft over the Black Sea,” US White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters.

But this case “is noteworthy because of how unsafe and unprofessional it was, really reckless,” Kirby said.

He said that US President Joe Biden is aware of the incident and the State Department will express Washington’s concerns to Moscow.

“We don’t need to report to the Russians in any way before we fly in international airspace. There’s no requirement to do that, and we don’t,” Kirby added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Western military sources reported that there was an “incident” with a US-made Reaper drone over the Black Sea.

According to a US official familiar with the circumstances of the incident, the drone and two Su-27 aircraft were flying over international waters over the Black Sea when one of the Russian jets deliberately flew in front of the drone and spilled fuel. One of the fighters then damaged the rear propeller of the Reaper, the damage of which forced the US to crash the Reaper in international waters in the Black Sea.

Russian and US aircraft have flown over the Black Sea during the war, but this is the first known such incident.

The US has been using the Reaper over the Black Sea for surveillance since before the start of the war. It can stay in the air for long periods of time at high altitudes to track movements on the battlefield and in the Black Sea.

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