Don’t be confused. The alleged “collision” between a Russian SU-27 jet fighter and a U.S. Air Force MQ9 Reaper drone was not an accident. Russia was sending an unmistakable message to Washington and its NATO allies — Russian patience with NATO arming and prolonging the war in Ukraine is waning and Russia is prepared to act against targets that enable attacks on Russian forces in Ukraine.
The drone in question was a MQ9 Reaper, not a Global Hawk. While the Reaper can carry a combat load, it is highly likely this one was configured only to do an ISR missions *(i.e., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance).
The reaction of the United States’ Department of Defense is predicatable and juvenile:
Oh boy. Putin hurt the feelings of General Hecker and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The U.S. was just minding its own business don’t you know. At least that is the line of nonsense the Pentagon is selling to the media. The fact is that this drone was collecting intelligence on Russian forces in Ukraine and that intelligence was going to be used to launch lethal attacks on Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians.
What I find particularly interesting is that these drone flights over the Black Sea have been going on since February 2022 and Russia did nothing to interfere with that activity until today. I believe Russia laid down a marker to the United States and its NATO allies — i.e., this is a friendly warning; stop this or we will take stronger action to end your drone spying.
If Russia routinely was flying a spy drone over international waters along the coast of Alaska near a U.S. military base do you think that the Biden team or members of Congress would be unconcerned? Hell, no. They would be demanding action to stop this aggressive act. But this is standard fare for the United States — America will do whatever it wants but will howl like a banshee if it is done to it. Nothing like a big steaming pile of hypocrisy to inspire faux outrage in Washington and London.