Russian Jet Collides With US Drone Over Black Sea, Washington Summons Moscow Envoy as Tensions Flare | 10 Points
Last Updated: March 15, 2023, 07:47 IST
File photo of Sukhoi-27 and MQ-9 Reaper drone.
The Pentagon and US European Command said that two Russian Su-27 aircraft dumped fuel on the MQ-9, which was conducting a routine surveillance mission over the Black Sea
A Russian fighter jet on Tuesday dumped fuel on an American drone over the Black Sea and then collided with it, causing the drone to crash, the US military said, slamming the manoeuvre as ‘reckless’.
The US European Command said that two Russian Su-27 fighters intercepted the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper over international waters and one clipped its propeller.
Here are the top ten points in the story:
- US and Russian officials had conflicting accounts of the collision between the MQ-9 Reaper drone and the Russian Su-27 fighter jet — each blaming the other. But a Pentagon spokesman raised the possibility that the Defense Department could eventually declassify and release video it has of the collision.
- The Pentagon and US European Command said that two Russian Su-27 aircraft dumped fuel on the MQ-9, which was conducting a routine surveillance mission over the Black Sea in international airspace.
- They said the Russian jets flew around and in front of the drone several times for 30 to 40 minutes, and then one of the Russian aircraft “struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters.”
- The US State Department said it had summoned Russia’s ambassador to protest.
- White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. will be “expressing our concerns over this unsafe and unprofessional intercept.”
- Russia has denied causing the crash saying, “The MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and collided with the surface of the water.”
- Russian Defense Ministry said that the two Russian jets had no contact with the US aircraft and did not use their weapons.
- Russian intercepts over the Black Sea are common, Kirby told journalists in Washington, but this one “is noteworthy because of how unsafe and unprofessional it was, indeed reckless that it was”.
- The United States uses MQ-9 Reapers for both surveillance and strikes and has long operated over the Black Sea keeping an eye on Russian naval forces.
- The MQ-9 Reaper drones can be armed with Hellfire missiles as well as laser-guided bombs and can fly for more than 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) at altitudes of up to 15,000 meters (50,000 feet), according to the US Air Force.
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