The US military was shocked by the behavior of Russian pilots with the MQ-9 drone: all details from NYT
Russia has shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea. Over time, the United States media reported on the details of this incident. In particular, they noted that the drone did not carry weapons and was eliminated 120 kilometers from Crimea.
Note that the collision of the Russian Su-27 with the MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea was reported on the evening of March 14. Soon, The New York Times revealed some details of what happened, citing its own sources in the Pentagon – that is, the US Department of Defense.
UAV did not carry missiles
It is important that the incident took place 120 kilometers from the temporarily occupied Crimea, when the UAV was observing. According to an anonymous US defense official, in the early morning of March 14, an American drone took off from a military base in Romania in order to carry out a planned mission, which usually lasts from 9 to 10 hours.
When the MQ-9 Reaper collided with the Russian Su-27, the drone was not armed. Although, it should be said that the design of the drone involves the installation of Hellfire missiles on it.
The episode stunned the US military, who were watching it via video link with a drone at the operations center at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, the story also says.
In addition, as journalists write, American officials are concerned that this small incident over the Black Sea could lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States. In fact, that's why the American military in Germany was stunned by what happened.
Note! At the time of the downing, the American drone was at an altitude of about 7.6 kilometers. At the same moment, a Russian Su-27 fighter was circling the UAV, pouring fuel onto it. He probably did this in order to spoil the equipment of the drone.
The source of The New York Times also noted that the unmanned aerial vehicle is equipped with sophisticated cameras and other sensors. They allow you to “look into the Crimea”, in fact, without flying close to the peninsula.
What the Air Force and Washington said
- The speaker of the Air Force of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, commented on the shooting down of the Su-27 by the American MQ-9 Reaper. According to him, this incident is a consequence of the actions of a terrorist state that calls itself Russia.
- As the speaker stated, many NATO countries have access to the Black Sea, for example, Turkey. Any vehicles, in particular reconnaissance ones, have the right to fly over the water area. There is nothing surprising in this.
- However, the White House noted that the downing of the US MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea was “dangerous and unprofessional.” They also called for paying attention to such incidents, because they are very revealing.