Pilots who shot down a US drone will receive state awards

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu presented state awards to the Su-27 fighter pilots who shot down the US MQ-9 Reaper drone on March 14. over the Black Sea.

As noted in the telegram channel of the Ministry of National Defense, the pilots prevented the violation of “the boundaries of the area of ​​u200bu200bthe temporary regime of the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation.”

According to the Ministry of National Defense, the American drone flew with its transponders turned off and violated the borders established by Moscow. “In order to identify the intruder, fighters serving in the air defense forces were launched into the air,” the ministry said in a statement.

Shortly thereafter, the drone went down in a “violent maneuver”, according to the military department. At the same time, it is emphasized that the Russian militants “did not use amphibious weapons, did not come into contact with an unmanned aerial vehicle and safely returned to their home airport.”

According to the American European Command, the Russian Su-27 collided with an American drone. “Two Russian Su-27 aircraft made a dangerous and unprofessional interception of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle operating in international space over the Black Sea,” the command said.

As evidence of this, a video was published showing a Russian plane approaching the drone at high speed and then dropping fuel. After that, according to the US, the fighter jet hit the propeller of the drone and must have been flooded.

After the incident, Shoigu had a telephone conversation with the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin. The US defense secretary told his Russian colleague that “the United States will continue to fly and work wherever international law allows.” At the same time, he stressed that “professional and safe handling of its own military aircraft is Russia’s duty.”

The White House has rejected the restrictions that Russia has imposed on flights over the Black Sea, as Moscow does not have such rights. The United States is not going to comply with “illegal flight restrictions over the Black Sea,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the Poor House National Security Council.

However, after the incident, the United States decided to assess the feasibility of reconnaissance operations using drones over the Black Sea, writes CNN. The U.S. military weighs the costs and benefits of such missions, weighing the potential intelligence value of a particular route against the risk of escalation with Russia.

The Pentagon fears that restricting drone routes in the Black Sea will affect intelligence gathering related to the war in Ukraine. But even in this case, the US has an alternative to gathering information – spy satellites, said a source in the US military department.


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