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US Drone Crashes after Being Intercepted by Russian Jets

The incident occurred at around 07:03 Central European Time (06:03 GMT) on Tuesday

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES: A US military drone crashed into the Black Sea on Tuesday after colliding with a Russian fighter jet, the American military says. The incident highlights the rising risk of direct confrontation between the US and Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The US says its unmanned drone was flying normally in international airspace when two Russian jets tried to stop it.

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Russia said that the drone crashed after making a “sharp turn,” and they denied that the two planes came into direct contact. The MQ-9 Reaper drone’s transponders were reportedly off while it was in the air, the Russian defense minister said. Transponders are communication tools that make it possible to track an aircraft.

Reaper drones are surveillance planes with a 20-meter (66-foot) wingspan.

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A statement from the US military said, “Our MQ-9 aircraft was flying normally in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft. This caused the MQ-9 to crash and be completely lost.”

According to the US military, the event happened around 7:03 Central European Time (6:03 GMT) on Tuesday. Before the crash, the Su-27 fighter jets repeatedly dropped fuel on the drone in a way that was “reckless, bad for the environment, and unprofessional,” the report said.

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To protest the action, the US summoned Anatoly Antonov, the Russian envoy in Washington. After the meeting, Antonov was quoted by Russian state media as stating that Moscow viewed the drone incident as “a provocation.”

Since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, tensions over the Black Sea have grown. US and UK reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft have increased since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, though always flying in international airspace.

The most important question is whether Russia was trying to stop the US drone from doing its job or if it was trying to bring it down on purpose.

The US says that Russian pilots have done a “pattern of dangerous actions” when interacting with allied planes in the area.

So, it’s possible that a Russian pilot got too close to the drone and made a mistake. But if a Russian warplane attacked a US plane on purpose, that would be a big mistake and a big step up in the tensions.

In that case, the attack will be seen as a way for the Kremlin to see how the United States will respond. Western partners have worked hard to stop the conflict in Ukraine from getting worse and turning into a direct war with Russia. However, that is all this episode over the Black Sea is. The US will now need to assess its reaction. 

In a statement, US military leaders said that this was a risky move that “could lead to misunderstandings and unintended escalation.”

Also Read: Ukraine, Russia Locked in Fierce Battle in Bakhmut, Deaths Mount


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