Collision of Russian Su-27 with American drone: US military is shocked by the behavior of Russian pilots
Russian fighter jets circled the Reaper drone and dumped fuel on it.
The US military, who followed the pursuit of the MQ-9 Reaper drone by Russian Su-27 fighters over the Black Sea, was shocked.
This is reported by The New York Times, citing an anonymous US military representative.
The source of the publication said that an American drone took off from a base in Romania on the morning of March 14. He was supposed to arrange a standard reconnaissance mission 9-10 hours long.
The drone was flying unarmed about 120 kilometers southwest of occupied Crimea when it was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets.
According to the publication, the Su-27 circled over the Reaper and poured fuel on it in order to possibly flood the drone's cameras or damage its sensors.
The episode stunned the U.S. military who were watching a video feed from a drone at the operations center at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
The NYT also noted that the United States has been concerned for several months about the possibility that an incident will occur in the Black Sea that will lead to a confrontation.
Recall, as reported by the US Army European Command, on the morning of March 14, two Russian Su-27 aircraft made a dangerous interception of the MQ-9 Reaper drone in international airspace over the Black Sea. One of the fighters hit the drone's propeller, so the US military was forced to lower its own drone into the sea.
The commander of the US Air Force, General James Hecker, said that such an unprofessional act of Russian pilots almost led to the fall of both fighters. The White House said that the United States will not refuse further flights in this space.
At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the MQ-9 Reaper was flying near the Crimea with violations and allegedly “collided with the water surface” itself.