A Russian fighter jet collided with a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea

A Russian plane collided with a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, causing the drone to crash after a “dangerous and unprofessional intercept”, the US military said.

The incident occurred early Tuesday when two Russian SU-27 fighter jets intercepted the MQ-9 drone, according to a US statement. The European Command has demonstrated the “lack of competence” of the pilots. One of the activists cut the drone’s propeller, forcing US operators to take it into international waters.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan briefed President Joe Biden about the incident, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. Russian pilots have intercepted US fighter jets in recent weeks, but not “recklessly”, Kirby said.

“This is the first time an interception has resulted in one of our drones crashing,” Kirby said.

Kirby and military officials said the Reaper drone was operating in international airspace when it was shot down. The Russian fighter dumps fuel on the drone and flies over it before crashing.

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and rammed by a Russian aircraft, resulting in the downing and complete loss of the MQ-9,” Air Force General James Hecker, US commander. European Air Force and African Air Force, reading a note. “Indeed, this dangerous and unprofessional action by the Russians almost caused both planes to crash.”

“US and allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we urge Russia to act in a professional and safe manner,” Hecker added.

According to European Command, the Russian pilot engaged in a “pattern of hazardous activity” leading up to Tuesday’s crash.

“These aggressive actions by the Russian crew were dangerous and could lead to unwanted miscalculations and escalations,” the statement said.

State Department officials plan to speak directly with their Russian counterparts to raise concerns about the malicious and unprofessional wiretapping, Kirby said.

Russian fighter jets intercepted the drone and buzzed it about half an hour before it crashed, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, attached to a press release from the Pentagon. The collision damaged the Russian fighter jet but managed to land, he said.

US drone operators landed the damaged MQ-9 in the sea, Ryder said.

The drone crash comes amid rising tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has sent more than $30 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

The United States should not respond with force directed at Russia, said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a Notre Dame Law School professor and expert on international law and the use of force.

While the drones were likely monitoring Ukraine, Russia’s interference with the Reaper falls under the laws of armed conflict, although Russia has better options for doing so, he said.

“The United States has so far been successful in supporting Ukraine without direct confrontation with Russia,” O’Connell said. “This approach should continue.”

A Russian fighter jet collided with a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea

A Russian fighter jet collided with a US Air Force

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