Patterico's Pontifications

3/14/2023

Russian Jet Hits US Drone Over Black Sea

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:06 am



[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”.

–Dana

28 Responses to “Russian Jet Hits US Drone Over Black Sea”

  1. Hello.

    I’ll update the post when we learn more.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. environmentally unsound

    Is this from an Onion article?

    We’re only a few days away from an article suggesting the US nuke RU because of the Su-27s carbon footprint.

    frosty (f0f31f)

  3. Per Mark Hertling:

    : “This was probably a big mistake by a Russian pilot. There’s going to be a denouncement of this and a demarche issued by the United States. You’re not going to see any drones flying alone. You may see US aircraft, @NATO aircraft, intensifying their presence in the #BlackSea area within hours.”

    Dana (1225fc)

  4. Not just “unprofessional, unsafe, and reckless,” but it seems intentional:

    Several times before the collision, the Russian fighter jets dumped fuel on the MQ-9 — possibly trying to blind or damage it — and flew in front of the unmanned drone in unsafe maneuvers, the U.S. military said.

    Dana (1225fc)

  5. ‘Each day the crises multiply. Each day their solution grows more difficult. Each day we draw nearer the hour of maximum danger, as weapons spread and hostile forces grow stronger. I feel I must inform the Congress that our analyses over the last 10 days make it clear that — in each of the principal areas of crisis — the tide of events has been running out and time has not been our friend.’ – President John F. Kennedy, January, 1961

    DCSCA (77f656)

  6. frosty and I are on a wavelength. Seriously, “environmentally unsound”? That’s the major offense?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  7. frosty and I are on a wavelength. Seriously, “environmentally unsound”?

    That should have sent shivers down the nuclear Navy’s spine.

    And what do they think happens when a howitzer fires?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  8. In news from 2040: The long-anticipated attack along the Malabar Front was delayed once more by an appellate court’s rejection of the latest Environmental Impact Report.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  9. Seriously, “environmentally unsound”? That’s the major offense?

    yes, only cuz they’re not done assessing the disparate impact on crimean indigenous communities

    JF (5ff242)

  10. Maybe aviation experts could weigh in on the likelihood the collision was intentional as opposed to pilot error. Aren’t all in-flight aircraft collisions ultra dangerous, so would not the Russian pilot have been risking his own plane crashing? Or perhaps not, if you’re a very skilled pilot going against a plodding drone? Maybe their clearly intentional attempts to damage or disrupt the drone are deemed tolerable behavior by the military, but if they intentionally downed a US drone in international airspace that would not seem not tolerable and a very not-smart move on their part.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  11. The russian national anthem should be played loudly every where ron desatan gives a speech. Another putin running dog.

    asset (97678d)

  12. You’re not going to see any drones flying alone.

    The environmental comment was ridiculous. This is down right idiotic. It makes less than zero sense to have manned aircraft escort a drone unless you are intentionally trying to create a false flag situation.

    If this is the Mark Hertling making that comment I have concerns about what this says about our military leadership.

    frosty (f0f31f)

  13. It makes less than zero sense to have manned aircraft escort a drone unless you are intentionally trying to create a false flag situation.

    No, with an armed NATO escort it will be a real flag situation. A false flag situation would be for a NATO aircraft to down a NATO drone.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. environmentally unsound

    The dumping of the fuel, since there’s no other case they can make against it..

    It’s like the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, only much smaller. But it’s the principle of the thing!

    frosty (f0f31f) — 3/14/2023 @ 11:30 am

    Is this from an Onion article?

    We’re only a few days away from an article suggesting the US nuke RU because of the Su-27s carbon footprint.

    Nuclear bombs exploding are bad for the environment.

    And health of people far away.

    Like in Moscow.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  15. Good thing it was just a drone. IF it had been one of these aircraft, Katie bar the door. They carry up to 27 crew and sensor operators. It would be the Hainan Island incident all over again, though there would be serious political pressure on Biden to retaliate with more than an apology.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. NATO is still confident that Putin does not want to engage with NATO soldiers.

    There’s a reason this only involved an unmanned drone.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  17. NATO is still confident that Putin does not want to engage with NATO soldiers.

    There’s a reason this only involved an unmanned drone.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 3/14/2023 @ 3:19 pm

    Whether Putin wants or not to engage NATO is beside the point. It is some Russian fighter jock or his commander who wants to show off that is the problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,

    It’s how an officer and a gentleman says “the kind of chickensh!t those Commie f*ckwits pull”.

    nk (88e8b5)

  19. ……..
    Though the exact motives of the Russian pilot are unclear, U.S. officials do not see any clear indications one way or another that there was a deliberate intention to bring down the drone. “There was [a] deliberate intent to interfere with the MQ-9, but the collision seems to be simple incompetence,” an Air Force official separately told The War Zone.
    ……….
    “Immediately after the impact, the video footage cut out for several seconds. It is unclear what damage the Su-27 incurred, but it returned to base,” an Air Force official has told The War Zone, adding that they did not know which base the Russian aircraft had come from or returned to. “I’m sure the impact left a mark, though. A few inches further forward, and the Russian jet would have been severely damaged and probably destroyed.”

    There are now unconfirmed reports of a Russian Su-27 landing at a base in Crimea with some degree of damage. The base in question is very likely Belbek, home to the 38th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which flies Su-27SM Flankers.
    ……..
    The U.K. Ministry of Defense did previously say that a Russian Su-27 Flanker had “released” a missile during an intercept of Royal Air Force (RAF) RC-135W Rivet Joint electronic surveillance aircraft in October 2022. Though it remains unclear whether the Flanker actually fired a missile at the British Rivet Joint, this pointed to a point escalation in Russian tactics and otherwise highlighted the risks of dangerous miscalculation during incidents like this. It prompted the RAF to send Typhoon fighter jets to escort RC-135Ws on at least some subsequent missions in the region.
    ……..
    At a routine press briefing today, Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that efforts were being made to declassify imagery captured by the MQ-9 during the incident. If such imagery is released, this could help shed more light on exactly what transpired.

    Ryder also said that he had nothing to share on potential U.S. efforts to recover the drone and that he was not aware of any Russian attempts so far to do so, either. Russia’s military and intelligence services certainly have experience in and specialized capabilities for recovering objects from the bottom of large bodies of water. This would add to the potential imperative for the U.S. military to do so first, especially given that the MQ-9 could have been carrying sensitive sensors and other systems during this mission.
    ……….

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. So, arm the drones. It will at least give them pause.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  21. During the Blitz, the RAF used to “tip” V-1 buzzbombs by flying next to them with a fighter plane and lifting the wing with their own wing. The primitive navigation of the V-1 could not correct for this, and was diverted by 30 degrees or so from it’s intended line of flight.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  22. Even during an invasion of Ukraine, Putin can’t keep his grubby imperialist mitts off Moldova.

    CHISINAU, Moldova — On Friday, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, made a surprise announcement at a White House press briefing. U.S. intelligence, he said, had determined that the Kremlin was plotting to topple another European democracy. “Russian actors, some with current ties to Russian intelligence, are seeking to stage and use protests in Moldova as a basis to foment a manufactured insurrection against the Moldovan government,” Kirby declared.

    As if on schedule, Moldova experienced an antigovernment demonstration on Sunday, just two days later. Thousands of people waving the blue, yellow and red Moldovan flag marched through the streets of downtown Chisinau, the capital, past the national Parliament and executive building. “Down with Maia Sandu!” they chanted, referring to Moldova’s outspokenly pro-European president.

    Local police arrested 54 demonstrators for violating public order, almost half of them minors. Police also alleged that four bomb threats were made throughout the country, one at the international airport. The Moldovan Border Police, meanwhile, said it had stopped a suspected mercenary from the Wagner Group from entering the country in a week in which 181 other foreigners tried to do likewise.

    But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical ambitions for Moldova go far beyond such protests.

    Yahoo News has obtained an internal strategy document from Putin’s Presidential Administration that reveals Moscow’s plans for Moldova, the small country vulnerably sandwiched between war-torn Ukraine and a member of NATO and the European Union, Romania.
    […]
    The document originates from the same Presidential Directorate for Cross-Border Cooperation that produced a similar strategy, previously reported on by Yahoo News, concerning Russian plans to annex Belarus. The Moldova strategy, according to the source who leaked it, was drafted in the fall of 2021, like its Belarusian counterpart, with input from Russia’s General Staff and Moscow’s main intelligence services: the FSB, SVR and GRU.

    The Russian strategy for Moldova focuses on “countering the attempts of external actors (primarily the United States, the countries of the European Union, the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine) to interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Moldova, to strengthen the influence of NATO and weaken the positions of the Russian Federation.” It envisions Moldova joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, Moscow’s answer to the EU, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, its version of NATO. And the plan seeks the “neutralization” of any actions by the Moldovan government to expel the Russian military presence in Transnistria, a Moscow-backed breakaway republic that is internationally recognized as part of Moldova.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  23. Every time I worry about Russia I watch this

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1624215616247762944

    steveg (925487)

  24. So, when China stabs Putin in the back and moves on the resources to their north, who will shed a tear for Russia?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  25. No, with an armed NATO escort it will be a real flag situation. A false flag situation would be for a NATO aircraft to down a NATO drone.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/14/2023 @ 3:08 pm

    I meant it exactly the way I said it.

    Take a step back and ask yourself why you’re being told about a midair collision with a drone? This isn’t a leaked story we accidentally found out about.

    It’s almost like the Gulf of Tonkin incident has faded from memory.

    frosty (48bb1c)

  26. nk (88e8b5) — 3/14/2023 @ 3:42 pm

    This does seem like exactly the way a General Eisenhower, Patton, or Admiral Nimitz would have phrased it.

    frosty (48bb1c)

  27. It’s almost like the Gulf of Tonkin incident has faded from memory.

    frosty (48bb1c) — 3/14/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    Given Biden’s extreme reticence to fully involve the US in the conflict (no F-16s, no immediate deployment of tanks or long range missiles) I don’t see him asking Congress for a resolution to attack Russia (which he wouldn’t receive) over the downing of an unmanned drone. Now if the Russians had shot down this aircraft, there would be intense pressure to retaliate.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. Harrasing the drone was intentional. Colliding with it was not. It was recklessness and poor decision making on the part of the Russian pilot. It makes not sense to put yourself in danger and risk loosing an Su-27 in a collision.

    Botched Russian Intercept of MQ-9 Drone Over International Waters

    Botched! THERE IS ABSOLUTLY NO TACTICAL ADVANTAGE TO RISK LOOSING AN SU-27 OVER AN MQ-9 DRONE WHILE FLYING OVER INTERNATIONAL WATERS BY INTENTIONALLY HITTING IT.

    Purplehaze (05dea1)


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