[guest post by Dana]
During routine operations over international waters, this happened:
A Russian fighter has collided with a US Reaper drone, forcing it down into the Black Sea, in what US forces called an an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept.
A US European Command statement said the collision happened…when two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew up to the MQ-9 Reaper drone over international waters west of Crimea. The statement said the Russian pilots sought to disrupt the US aircraft before the collision.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” the US statement said. “This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”
One of the Russian fighters then struck drone’s propeller “causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters”.
While National Security Council’s John Kirby said that it’s not unusual for Russia to “intercept U.S. aircraft” in this location, he also said that today’s downing of the drone was “unsafe, unprofessional and reckless”.