June 21. 2024. 7:05

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US drone crashes into Black Sea after ‘unsafe and unprofessional’ Russian intercept

A Russian fighter has collided with a US Reaper drone, forcing it down into the Black Sea, in what US forces called an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept.

A US European command statement said the collision happened just after 7am on Tuesday morning, when two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew up to the MQ-9 Reaper drone over international waters west of Crimea. The statement said the Russian pilots sought to disrupt the US aircraft before the collision.

“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,” the US statement said. “This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”

One of the Russian fighters then struck drone’s propeller “causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters”.

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“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” US air force general James Hecker, who overseas the US air force in the region, said. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.” – Guardian