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Russia’s Defense Ministry denies collision between Russian Su-27 fighter plane and U.S. reconnaissance drone
Commenting on the incident that led to the loss of the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry has issued a statement about what happened.
According to the ministry and its version of the events, Russian Aerospace Forces detected the American UAV moving in the direction of the Russian border, lifting fighter planes into the air to identify the “intruder.” The Russian aircraft did not use its on-board weapons and made no direct contact with the UAV, which crashed into the sea as a result of an abrupt maneuver.
The U.S. European Command has characterized the incident as an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of an aircraft operating in international airspace. The U.S. side has reported that the Russian Su-27 fighter plane had grazed the Reaper aircraft’s propeller, which resulted in the crash:
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. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.
The U.S. military warn that “aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.”
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