Russian aircraft – According to the US military, a Russian aircraft shot down a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.
The propeller on the American MQ-9 Reaper drone was damaged before it was taken down by the Russian aircraft.
On Tuesday, the US European Command announced that the Reaper drone was joined over international waters by two Russian Su-27 jets.
Later, over the Black Sea, one plane purposefully flew in front of the unmanned Reaper drone, throwing gasoline on it many times.
Once the Russian aircraft impacted with the drone’s propeller, the US military was forced to land the Reaper drone in international waters.
The Russian aircraft flew in the region of the drone for 30 to 40 minutes before striking it just after 7 a.m. CET, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder.
CET stands for Central European Time.
General James B. Hecker, commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, released the following statement:
“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9.”
“In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”
The incident is the first direct physical contact between a US military jet and a Russian aircraft since Moscow invaded Ukraine in early 2022.
The incident is anticipated to aggravate relations between the two countries.
Russia’s actions have been branded as “reckless, environmentally unsound, and unprofessional” by the US.
Russia’s envoy to the US, Anatoly Antonov, claimed that Moscow does not desire a fight with the US.
He was summoned to the State Department after the drone was shot down, where he stated:
“We prefer not to create a situation where we can face unintended clashes or unintended incidents between the Russian Federation and the United States.”
Breaking down the incident
According to Assistant Secretary Karen Donfried, Anatoly Antonov was inside the State Department for more than 30 minutes.
He appeared to be communicating US concerns about the issue, exchanging words about it despite their disagreements.
“It seems to me that it was a constructive conversation on this issue,” said Antonov.
“I have heard her remarks, I hope that she has understood what I have mentioned.”
Antonov also said that Russia informed him about the area, which he characterized as a zone for special military operations.
“We have warned not to enter, not to penetrate,” he explained, asking what the US would have done if a Russian drone flew close to New York or San Francisco.
Anatoly Antonov reiterated the Russian Ministry of Defense’s denial of the occurrence.
They denied that the Russian aircraft crashed with the drone in a statement released on Tuesday.
The aircraft was scrambled to identify the flying item after it was seen over the Black Sea, according to the statement.
They went on to say that the drone took off unguided and lost height.
“The drone flew with its transponders off,” explained the ministry.
“Violating the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace, and published in accordance with international standards.”
National security advisor Jake Sullivan briefed President Joseph Biden on Tuesday morning, according to National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby.
According to Patrick Ryder, Defense Department officials have yet to discuss the episode with Russian authorities.
According to Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, the US has spoken at high levels with allies and partners, informing them of what has happened.
He claimed that the US was unable to remark on the Russians’ intentions with the moves.
In the end, what happened matters less than what was planned.
Yet, Kirby noted that Russian aircraft encountering US planes over the Black Sea was not unusual, and that prior contacts had occurred in recent weeks.
He did, however, say that the Tuesday episode was exceptional since Russia’s activities were “unsafe, unprofessional, and dangerous.”
According to Ryder, the US Military Department is attempting to declassify images from the event.
He also stated that the Russians had not been able to recover the downed drone.
In addition, John Kirby indicated that the US took procedures to protect interests in respect to the drone.
“We obviously don’t want to see anybody getting their hands on it beyond us,” he said.
Kirby went on to say that the US disputes Russia’s statement and that people should take what they say about what’s going on in and around Ukraine with a dose of caution.
US and Russian aircraft flew over the Black Sea throughout the Ukraine conflict.
Yet, the Tuesday gathering is a one-of-a-kind meeting that might blossom at a critical moment in the struggle.
Before the clash, the United States utilized Reaper drones to monitor the Black Sea.
According to the Air Force, Reaper drones can fly as high as 50,000 feet.
Drones have sensors as well as the capacity to collect intelligence and conduct long-term surveillance.