Uncontrolled Maneuver, not Contact with Russian Fighter, caused U.S. Drone Crash: Russian MoD

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 05:57 AM, March 15, 2023
  • 1036
Uncontrolled Maneuver, not Contact with Russian Fighter, caused U.S. Drone Crash: Russian MoD
MQ-9 Reaper

An American U.S. Reaper drone on a “surveillance mission” near Crimea plunged to the Black Sea following its encounter with a Russian Su-27 fighter; which as per Russia was because of its “sharp maneuvering.”

The U.S. has alleged that one of the two the Su-27s dumped fuel on it and then collided with it.

This marked the first direct encounter between U.S. and Russian forces since Moscow invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.

Blasting Russia for its reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional behavior, the U.S. said the Su-27 dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 several times before it struck the drone’s propeller.

"Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting a routine operation in international airspace. It was hit by a Russian aircraft conducting escort. This led to the crash of the drone, to its irretrievable loss," said James Hecker, commander of the US Air Force in Europe and Africa.

Russia denies its Su-27 crashed into Reaper

Moscow said it spotted an MQ-9 UAV on March 14 over the Black Sea in the Crimea region fling towards Russian borders.

"The flight of the UAV 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 Russian Ministry of Defense said.

Transponder off means the drone does not want its position to be discovered, leading to suspicion that it was on a spying mission.

It then deployed fighters to identify the “intruder.”

Uncontrolled Maneuver, not Contact with Russian Fighter, caused U.S. Drone Crash: Russian MoD
Sukhoi Su-27 fighter

Russia has also denied playing any role in the crash of the drone, which the U.S. says was on a routine surveillance mission. The country’s defense ministry said Su-27s did not use weapons against the American drone, and it crashed “as a result of sharp maneuvering.”

"The Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle and returned safely to their base airfield," the ministry claimed. "As a result of a sharp maneuvering, the MQ-9 UAV entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and collided with the surface of the water.”

U.S. summons Russian ambassador

The U.S. State Department summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov for a meeting with Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of state for Europe. "As for us, we do not want any confrontation between the United States and Russia," Antonov said.

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