(TStarnes) – Two Russian Su-27 aircraft dumped fuel on and flew in front of an unmanned U.S. MQ-9 drone above the Black Sea on Tuesday, with one striking the American asset and causing it to crash, according to the U.S. European Command.
One Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. 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.
“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said in a statement. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.
“U.S. and Allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely.”
REPORTER: "Was this collision itself an accident on Russia's behalf?"
PENTAGON SPOX: "It was unsafe, unprofessional, and I think the actions speak for themselves." pic.twitter.com/j9xmSn80iV
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 14, 2023
Since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, which launched Feb. 24, 2022, the U.S. has avoided sending any military troops to fight the Russians in Ukraine.
Instead, Congress and President Joe Biden have opted for the so-called “proxy” war approach of continuously sending military, financial, logistical, and tactical intelligence help to Ukraine throughout this war.
“This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and Allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea,” according to the U.S. European Command. “These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.