Russian fighter jet collides with American Reaper drone over Black Sea

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A Russian fighter jet on Tuesday collided with an American Reaper drone over the Black Sea, the US branch of the military responsible for operations across Europe reported.

At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), a Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters, US European Command (USEUCOM) said on the same day.

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The US’ MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and “complete” loss of the MQ-9, US Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said.

“This unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash,” he said.

Several times before the collision, the Russian Su-27s “dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” USEUCOM said in Tuesday’s statement.

The US military body added that the incident “demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”

The statement continued: “This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with US and allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea. These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.”

US air forces in Europe routinely fly aircraft throughout Europe over sovereign territory and throughout international airspace to bolster collective European defense, according to USEUCOM.

USEUCOM is also responsible for the country’s military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.

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