Russian plane shot down US drone in Black Sea: US military

The US military said a Russian Su-27 fighter jet shot down an American Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.

General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, said, “Our MQ-9 drone was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in the MQ-9 crashing and Damage done.” and Africa.

“This is a dangerous and unprofessional act on the part of the Russians that almost caused the crash of two planes”, he said, referring to the incident in the region closely monitored by NATO since the start of the war in Ukraine. Is going ,

The US statement confirms information previously published by AFP on an incident involving a US-made drone in the Black Sea.

“US and allied drones will continue to operate in international airspace, and we call on the Russians to behave professionally,” he said.

According to a NATO official, US General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Sasseur) briefed the Allies.

According to a Western military source on condition of anonymity, diplomatic channels will be activated between Washington and Moscow to avoid any escalation.

The skies of the Black Sea are the scene of very regular interactions between drones and aircraft of NATO countries and the Russian Armed Forces.

The Reaper drone, manufactured by the American company General Atomics, is a remotely piloted aircraft of the MALE type (medium altitude long endurance), equipped with ultra-modern on-board sensors (Optronic ball and radar) to conduct surveillance operations. cruising speed of 335 km / h.

With a wingspan of 20 metres, it has a flight endurance of over 24 hours.

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