US says ‘Reaper’ drone crashes into Black Sea after Russian intercept

An MQ-9 Reaper drone flying at Creech Air Drive Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. — AFP/File
  • Russian jet strikes propeller of US army drone.
  • Two jets carried out intercept of American spy drone.
  • United States condemns incident as “unsafe”.

WASHINGTON: A Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted and struck the propeller of a US army MQ-9 “Reaper” surveillance drone on Tuesday, inflicting it to crash into the Black Sea in an incident condemned as “unsafe” by the US army.

Two Russian Su-27 jets carried out the intercept of the American spy drone, and considered one of them collided with it at 7:03am (0603 GMT). A number of instances earlier than the collision, the Russian fighter jets dumped gas on the MQ-9 and flew in entrance of it in unsafe manoeuvres, the US army stated in an announcement.

“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,” US Air Drive Normal James Hecker, who oversees the US Air Drive within the area, stated in an announcement.

“In truth, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians practically brought on each plane to crash.”

There was no quick remark from Moscow.

The US army stated the incident adopted a sample of harmful behaviour by Russian pilots working close to plane flown by the US and its allies, together with over the Black Sea. The Black Sea lies between Europe and Asia and is bordered by Russia and Ukraine amongst different nations.

White Home spokesman John Kirby stated President Joe Biden was additionally briefed in regards to the incident. 

Whereas there have been different such intercepts, Kirby stated, this one was noteworthy as a result of it was “unsafe and unprofessional” and brought on the downing of a US plane. “So it is distinctive in that regard,” Kirby stated.

“The State Division shall be talking instantly with their Russian counterparts, and expressing our issues over this unsafe and unprofessional intercept,” he stated.

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