A Russian fighter jet has struck down a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea Tuesday. The Russian jet was able to force the American Reaper down after it damaged the craft’s propeller, according to CNN and those familiar with the incident. This occurred over the Black Sea Tuesday as three crafts, one American and two Russian planes, flew over the international waters.
According to CNN, the Reaper drone and two SU-27 Flanker jets were operating over the Black Sea when one of the Russian operated crafts dumped fuel in front of the American drone and the other hit the propeller in the rear of the drone forcing the drone down.
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According to CNN,
The US Air Force issued a statement accusing the Russian aircraft of acting in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner.”
“At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” US Air Force Gen. James B.Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa said in the statement.
President Biden was briefed on the incident. It was said that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Security Council Communications Coordinator John Kirby briefed the president. Kirby has said that the interception of US aircrafts by Russia is “not uncommon” though this was “unsafe, unprofessional, and reckless.”