A Russian fighter jet struck the propeller of a US military spy drone, causing the unmanned aerial vehicle to crash into the Black Sea, US officials say.
US says spy drone, Russian jet collide over Black Sea
A Russian Su-27 fighter jet has intercepted and struck the propeller of a US military MQ-9 “Reaper” surveillance drone, causing it to crash into the Black Sea, in the first such incident since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over a year ago.
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US Army General Christopher Cavoli, briefed NATO allies about the incident, which was roundly condemned by the White House and the Pentagon – which warned of the risk of escalation.
Two Russian Su-27 jets carried out what the US military described as a reckless intercept of the US spy drone before one of them collided with it at 7.03am.
Several times before the collision, the Russian fighter jets dumped fuel on the MQ-9 – possibly trying to blind or damage it – and flew in front of the unmanned drone in unsafe manoeuvres, the US military said.