This Tuesday, March 14, an American drone crashed in the Black Sea after a collision with a Russian plane.
While performing “routine operations” in international airspace, over the Black Sea, an American Reaper drone was hit by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet on Tuesday, March 14. The United States military denounced “a dangerous and unprofessional act”.
The incident, which occurred in an area closely monitored by NATO since the start of the war in Ukraine, led to “the crash and loss” of the MQ-9 drone. But according to General James Hecker, commander of the American air forces in Europe and Africa, it could have “caused the crash of the two planes”.
“U.S. and allied drones will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to behave professionally,” he added.
John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council of the American executive, also reacted, conceding that it was not “unusual for Russian planes to intercept American aircraft over the Black Sea”. But this interception is “remarkable because it was dangerous and unprofessional, reckless in reality, and because it caused the loss of our device,” he said.
The spokesperson said the US State Department “intends to contact Russian officials and communicate directly to them [sa] concern”. Stressing the fact that “the Black Sea does not belong to any one nation”, John Kirby insisted: “we will continue to do what is necessary to ensure our national security in this part of the world”.
Manufactured by the American company General Atomics, the Reaper drones are equipped with state-of-the-art on-board sensors to conduct surveillance operations at a cruising speed of 335 km/h. Piloted remotely, they measure 20 meters across and this is the first time that one of them has been damaged at sea following such an interception.
These machines, as well as other aircraft from NATO countries, interact very regularly with the Russian armed forces in the skies of the Black Sea. Also, according to a Western military source who remained anonymous, the diplomatic channels between Washington and Moscow will be activated to avoid any escalation in this affair.