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US drone and Russian fighter jet collide during operations

US drone and Russian fighter jet collide during operations

Posted March. 16, 2023 07:52,   

Updated March. 16, 2023 07:52


A U.S. drone collided with a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday (local time) and crashed while doing a reconnaissance over the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. This is the first time that U.S. and Russian military aircraft collided during military operations since the Cold War era. As it was the first direct collision between the two countries on a battlefield since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, some are worried about a potential rise in military tensions.

The United States European Command (EUCOM) has reported that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with the propeller of an American Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, causing the drone to crash into international waters.

According to the U.S. authorities, two Su-27 aircraft got near MQ-9, which was conducting reconnaissance in the air 120 kilometers south of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine after departing from the Romanian Air Force Air Base, and flew close to It for 30 to 40 minutes for an intercept. Su-27 flew over MQ-9 and splashed jet fuel to damage reconnaissance equipment, such as cameras and sensors, attached to the drone. During the process, one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces remotely controlling the drone to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters.

The U.S. administration criticized that the collision from such a threatening intercept over international waters is a “clear violation of international law” and an “irresponsible behavior by Russia.” The U.S. State Department summoned Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov and made an official objection.

Russia contradicted the U.S.’s claims. “The Russian jets did not use air combat weapons nor make contact with the drone. They returned safely to the base,” the Russian Ministry of Defence said. Russia claimed that the U.S.’s MQ-9 entered the flight-restricted areas set by the country for its special military operation on Ukraine and lost control before the crash.

In addition, Russia also announced that the U.S.’s reconnaissance over the Black Sea would be blocked. “We warned the U.S. not to enter or infiltrate the special military operation area,” Ambassador Antonov said in a statement. “We view this incident as a provocation,” he added, according to the Russian News Agency TASS on Wednesday. However, he added that Russia does not want any confrontation with the U.S.