Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted the U.S. military MQ-9 Reaper drone and dumped fuel on it several times before knocking it off and crashing it into black sea.
“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,” U.S. military said.
The United States uses MQ-9 Reapers for both surveillance and strikes and has long operated over the Black Sea keeping an eye on Russian naval forces.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the drone violated “the borders of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace” established by the Russian Federation since the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, and then at some point “as a result of sharp maneuvering, it went into an uncontrolled flight” and fell into the sea.
Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder admitted in a conversation with American journalists that the fallen MQ-9 “was engaged in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.” At the same time, he refused to answer the question of whether the drone carried any weapons.
“The flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle was carried out with transponders turned off, violating the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace and published in accordance with international standards,” the agency noted. Fighters were lifted into the air. “As a result of sharp maneuvering around 9:30 Moscow time, the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle went into uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface,” the Russian Ministry of Defense told its version of what happened. It was specifically emphasized