- America makes use of the MQ-9 Reapers for each surveillance and strikes.
- The drone has lengthy operated over the Black Sea maintaining a tally of Russian naval forces.
- Reapers will be armed with Hellfire missiles in addition to laser-guided bombs.
A Russian Su-27 jet fighter collided with an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the US army’s European Command stated.
“Our MQ-9 plane was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian plane, leading to a crash and full lack of the MQ-9,” stated US Air Pressure Basic James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa.
“The truth is, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians practically precipitated each plane to crash.”
“A number of instances earlier than the collision, the Su-27s dumped gasoline on and flew in entrance of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional method,” it stated.
The assertion confirmed an earlier report by AFP of an incident involving a US-made drone.
NATO diplomats in Brussels confirmed the incident, however stated they didn’t anticipate it to instantly escalate into an additional confrontation.
A Western army supply, chatting with AFP on situation of anonymity, stated that diplomatic channels between Russia and the USA can be activated.
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“To my thoughts, diplomatic channels will mitigate this,” the supply stated.
America makes use of MQ-9 Reapers for each surveillance and strikes, and has lengthy operated over the Black Sea maintaining a tally of Russian naval forces.
The scenario within the area has change into solely change into extra tense previously 12 months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Western-backed Ukraine.
“US and allied plane will proceed to function in worldwide airspace and we name on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely,” Hecker added.
A number of US Reapers have been misplaced lately, together with to hostile fireplace.
One was shot down in 2019 over Yemen with a surface-to-air missile fired by Huthi rebels, the US Central Command stated on the time.
In accordance with media studies, a US MQ-9 crashed in Libya in 2022, whereas one other went down throughout a coaching train in Romania earlier in the identical yr.
Reapers will be armed with Hellfire missiles in addition to laser-guided bombs and may fly for greater than 1 100 miles at altitudes of as much as 15 000 metres (50 000 toes), in keeping with the US Air Pressure.