US drone stranded in Black Sea after being intercepted by Russian aircraft

by Phil Stewart and Idris Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted and hit the propeller of a US Army MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone on Tuesday, causing it to crash into the Black Sea, the military said. Americans, condemning the incident as “dangerous”.

A spokesman for the White House National Security Council said that US President Joe Biden has been briefed about the incident.

John Kirby further stated that if this type of interception has already occurred, it is notable for its “dangerous and unprofessional” character.

He said US State Department officials would speak directly with their Russian counterparts to “express their concerns”.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow.

According to the US military, the incident is part of a context of dangerous behavior by Russian pilots operating near the fleets of the United States and their allies, particularly those bordering Russia and Ukraine, over the Black Sea.

Two Russian Su-27 fighters came to intercept the US MQ-9 drone, with one of them colliding with it at 1803 GMT after the Russian planes carried out dangerous maneuvers, the US military said in a statement.

General James Hecker said, “Our MQ-9 aircraft was performing routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, causing it to crash and the MQ-9 a total loss.” Area.

“In fact, this dangerous and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly brought down both aircraft,” he said in a statement.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart, Idris Ali, Trevor Hunnicutt and Donna Chiacu; French version Editing by Jean Terzien, Kate Enstringer)

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