US Reaper drone crashes in Black Sea after alleged collision with Russian fighter jet: fears of escalation grow
A US drone MQ-9 Reaper has reportedly crashed into the Black Sea after being attacked by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet. The event highlights the growing risk of a direct clash between Russia and the United States amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.Two Russian jets intercepted, according to US officials At the time of the attempt, the drone was performing a standard mission in international airspace.
Russia claimed the drone crashed after performing a “sharp maneuver” and denied direct contact between the two planes. The Russian Defense Ministry also said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying with its transponder turned off, a communication device used for tracking purposes. Reaper drones are primarily used for surveillance and have a wingspan of 20 meters (66 feet).
According to a US military statement, the incident occurred around 07:03 CET (06:03 GMT) on Tuesday. A US statement noted that prior to the crash, the Su-27 fighter jets had repeatedly dumped fuel into the drone in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner”. . In response, the United States summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to Washington to protest.
After the meeting, Antonov was quoted as saying to Russian state media that Moscow viewed the drone incident as a “provocation”. Tensions in the Black Sea region have increased since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. With Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the US and UK are increasing reconnaissance and surveillance flights while maintaining operations in international airspace.
The key question is whether the encounter was an attempt by Russia to sabotage the mission of the U.S. drones or a deliberate attempt to shoot them down. The United States has observed “a pattern of unsafe behavior by Russian pilots” engaging allied aircraft in the region. The event could have been an error of Russian pilots getting too close while “booming” their drones, or it could have been a deliberate attack on a U.S. aircraft, signaling serious provocation and escalation. There is also the possibility that
If the latter is true, the Kremlin could be testing the US response. Western allies have tried to prevent the Ukraine conflict from escalating into a direct confrontation with Russia. But this Black Sea incident presents a challenge. US military commanders have warned that such risky actions could lead to miscalculations and unintended escalations, so the US now needs to carefully assess its response.
https://weeklyvoice.com/us-reaper-drone-crashes-in-black-sea-after-alleged-collision-with-russian-fighter-jet-escalation-fears-rise/ US Reaper drone crashes in Black Sea after alleged collision with Russian fighter jet: fears of escalation grow