Yesterday, U.S. officials reported that a USAF MQ9 drone crashed after allegedly being disabled by one of two Russian Su-27 fighter jets. The Gateway Pundit reported that U.S. European Command claimed that the Russian fighters dumped fuel on the drone, flew in front of it and eventually collided with it, breaking it’s propeller and forcing U.S. controllers to crash the drone into the sea.
According to the Dept. of Defense:
A Russian Su-27 aircraft struck a U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle’s propeller, causing U.S. forces to bring it down into international waters of the Black Sea early this morning, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa in a statement today.
“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. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” Hecker stated.
The incident most likely caused damage to the Russian aircraft, although it was able to land, he said.
Now we have a conflicting claim from the Russian Defence Ministry.
Russia’s defence ministry said Tuesday it scrambled fighter jets following the detection of a US drone over the Black Sea but denied causing it to crash despite accusations from Washington.
The defence ministry in Moscow said it detected an American MQ-9 drone “over the waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean peninsula” flying “towards the Russian state border”.
It added that the drone was flying with its “transponders turned off” and fighter jets were scrambled “to identify” it.
“As a result of sharp manoeuvring at around 0930 MSK (0630 GMT) the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and collided with the surface of the water,” the ministry said.
“The Russian fighters did not use their on-board weapons, made no contact with the UAV and safely returned to their home airfield,” the ministry said.
ABC News is also reporting that the Russian Defence Ministry says the drone “sharply maneuvered, crashed after encounter with Russian jets near Russia’s border.”
Video footage has surfaced from Funker530 that allegedly shows one of the Russian fighters doing a “fly by” on the MQ9 drone. The validity of this footage has not been confirmed by any US officials, however, it is simply a “fly by” and does not show any of the controversial actions alleged to have occurred.
According to the USAF, the MQ-9 Reaper is “employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.” (I personally have called for fire from a Reaper drone equipped with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles while in Afghanistan).
The MQ-9 is capable of traveling at 240 knots (1 knot = 1.15 mph) with a range of 1,150 miles. It’s cost is “$56.5 million (includes four aircraft with sensors, ground control station and Predator Primary satellite link)”
If the Funker530 video is in fact of the described event, then the Reaper does not appear to be carrying a weapons payload.
While there is no video confirmation of either event produced thus far from either nation, it is bizarre to consider any pilot would deliberately fly into the back of another aircraft and, more specifically, into the propeller of said aircraft. Perhaps this is a distraction to avert eyes from the tanking banking institutions in the United States and focus back on the “most important issue” facing Americans today: the Ukraine War.
These aircraft have sensors and cameras that should have documented this incident, however, much like the “UFO” events that took place over the last month, we have no confirmation or transparency from the Dept. of Defense that would confirm these phenomena.