A Russian fighter jet collided with a US Reaper drone on Tuesday, prompting American military officials to ditch the unit into the Black Sea.
The European Command announced that a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone was brought down on Tuesday morning, after two Russian SU-17 fighter aircraft allegedly conducted “unsafe and unprofessional intercept,” resulting in one of the jets striking the propeller of the MQ-9. The drone operators then ditched the damaged unmanned aircraft into international waters in the Black Sea.
US Air Forces in Europe and Africa commander General James Hecker claimed the drone was “operating within international airspace” as per routine, and that “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.”
According to Hecker, American forces “routinely” conduct drone flights over international airspace in order to “bolster collective European defence and security” and “support Allied, partner, and US national objectives.” He added that such missions with unmanned aircraft will continue, warning the Russian military to “conduct themselves professionally and safely.”
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