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VIDEO: American Drone Crashes After Encountering Russian Fighters Over the Black Sea

VIDEO: American Drone Crashes After Encountering Russian Fighters Over the Black Sea

BY ADAM SCHUPAK 03/16/2023 AGO 0 COMMENTS

A U.S. drone flying in international airspace has crashed into the Black Sea after allegedly being tampered with by Russian Forces. 
 

 

On Tuesday, March 14, Two Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets intercepted an unmanned MQ-9 "Reaper" drone flying at 60,000 feet. According to the Pentagon, both of the Russian fighters had repeatedly flown unsafe maneuvers in close proximity to the drone and dumped fuel on it in an attempt to blind its cameras and sensors. Shortly after, one of the Su-27s "...collided..." with the drone at 07:03 local time (05:03 UTC). It is these factors that led to the crash of the $32 million craft. 

 

An MQ-9 Reaper, the same type of aircraft that was involved in the crash. Photo: Wikipedia

 



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The First Case During the Russia-Ukraine War

 

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the United States has been flying numerous manned reconnaissance aircraft, such as the U.S. Air Forces' E-3 Sentry AWAC, over Polish airspace near the Ukrainian border. Along with this, the previously mentioned unmanned U.S. MQ-9 reaper drones have been flying since mid-March 2022 in international airspace near the Turkish coast to aid Ukrainian forces in intelligence gathering.

 

Flying drones, especially relatively close to an active war zone, can be advantageous for the U.S. as it allows for higher precision data of Russian equipment and troop movements. However, the risk is always present that this expensive equipment can be lost, damaged, or heighten the political conflict between countries.

 

The United States has been flying numerous manned reconnaissance aircraft, such as the U.S. Air Forces' E-3 Sentry AWAC, over Polish airspace near the Ukrainian border. Photo: AeroXplorer | Noah G

 

Russia has been threatening retaliation against these same United States aircraft for months, stating that if the United States keeps flying drones over Russian Airspace, they will respond with force. Following the incident, the United States Pentagon and Russia's intelligence agency traded words. 

 

While representatives of the Pentagon stated "...Russia has not recovered the [crashed] drone and the jet was likely damaged...", Russia's defense ministry stated that the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) had crashed after "...sharp manoeuvering..." and that their jets did not "...use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV and returned safely to their home airfield..." 

 



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In a statement, U.S. Air Force General James Hecker — Commander of the United States Air Force in Europe — stated "...this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash...". 

 

The United States will continue to fly its unmanned drones over international waters in the Black Sea. This will likely further provoke Russia amid the already rapidly deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations.

Adam Schupak
Hey there! I'm Adam, a passionate avgeek absolutely obsessed with everything that flies. I'm a student glider pilot, but have the ultimate ambition of become a commercial airline pilot. Besides aviation, I'm also passionate about urban design, civil engineering, and trains.

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NEWS Russia United States Ukraine Ukraine War Russia Drones Military USAF Russian Air Force

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