WASHINGTON — A Russian fighter jet downed a U.S. drone working over the Black Sea on Tuesday, U.S. European Command mentioned in an announcement.
“Our MQ-9 plane was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian plane, leading to a crash and full lack of the MQ-9,” mentioned U.S. Air Power Gen. James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa.
Previous to the collision, two Russian plane harassed the drone, he mentioned.
“A number of occasions earlier than the collision, the Su-27s dumped gasoline on and flew in entrance of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional method,” the assertion added.
Common Atomics’ Guardian drone, which is the maritime model of the corporate’s Predator B or MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial automobile.
The incident “demonstrates a scarcity of competence” by Russia, the European Command mentioned. The U.S. referred to as the habits “unsafe and unprofessional,” and a part of a sample of harmful habits by Russian pilots.
The incident occurred in worldwide airspace, Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby informed reporters. He added that the U.S. was persistently flying over the Black Sea earlier than the conflict in Ukraine broke out in February of final yr.
Two Sukhoi Su-27 fighters carry out throughout celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the Russian air pressure base of the Collective Safety Treaty Group (CSTO) in Kant, about 20 km outdoors Bishkek on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO (Picture credit score ought to learn VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP through Getty Photographs)
Vyacheslav Oseledko | Afp | Getty Photographs
Kirby mentioned that the U.S. shouldn’t be required to “verify in” Russia earlier than flying. He added that the State Division would talk about the matter with Russian counterparts.
The Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.
The MQ-9 Reaper drone system is designed to gather intelligence and perform reconnaissance missions and is manufactured by Common Atomics Aeronautical Techniques.
The remotely piloted system can carry a mix of Hellfire missiles, Joint Direct Assault Munitions, or JDAMs.