A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone was brought down on Tuesday morning over the Black Sea, after what its European Command (EUCOM) described as “an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” by two Russian jets.

The “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance” platform was “operating within international airspace” when the airplanes approached, EUCOM said in a statement. One of the Su-27s “struck the propeller of the MQ-9,” so the operators ditched the drone into the sea.

“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,” the US military complained, accusing the Russians of “a lack of competence.”

General James Hecker, the commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, said the drone was “conducting routine operations in international airspace” and that the crash had resulted in a “complete loss” of the MQ-9.

EUCOM said the US “routinely” operates drone flights in international airspace to “bolster collective European defense and security” and “support Allied, partner, and US national objectives.” Hecker said the flights would continue, calling on the Russians “to conduct themselves professionally and safely.”

The Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry have yet to comment on the alleged incident.

The US has admitted to providing Ukraine with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information in the conflict against Russia, while insisting it is not a party to the hostilities. US and NATO spy aircraft routinely fly over the Black Sea and approach Crimea, sometimes just before Ukrainian forces launch attacks on the Russian peninsula.

Last week, a US strategic bomber flew a practice run for a missile attack on St. Petersburg, while staying in international and NATO airspace.

The Pentagon routinely uses the phrase “unsafe and unprofessional” to describe incidents when interceptors chase off US drones, spy planes or fighter jets that come too close to the Russian border.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US European Command (EUCOM) claimed in a release on Tuesday that a Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of an unmanned MQ-9 drone during an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” over the Black Sea.

“Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today. At approximately 7:03 am (CET) one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9,” the release said.

The release said that the resulting damage to the MQ-9 made it necessary for US forces to bring down the drone in international waters.

Sputnik was not able to independently confirm EUCOM’s statement. The Russian Ministry of Defense has yet to officially comment on the incident

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan briefed President Joe Biden on the incident, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

“The President was briefed by the national security adviser about this incident earlier this morning,” Kirby said during a press briefing.

Kirby added that it is not an uncommon occurrence for US aircraft to be intercepted by Russian aircraft over the Black Sea and there have been other intercepts over the past weeks.

The White House National Security Council spokesperson also highlighted that the US is going to continue to fly and operate in international airspace and over international waters despite the incident.


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  1. The U.S. govt, our media, and the media of the NATO partners are conducting the most intensive propaganda campaign in the history of war. This is where we have surpassed Russia and the other COM/BLOC nations. We have the best liars money can buy. We have been training them since childhood, as teaching honesty, dignity, and self-respect are no longer considered a parent’s duty as they raise their children. This disgusting trend is reinforced by the NEA and our schools, colleges, and universities. The sad part is, these liars are stupid, and concoct such ridiculous tales that they are almost beyond belief. Fortunately, there are enough other stupid people who will believe them. General Hecker, I consider you a liar as well.

  2. “an unsafe and unprofessional intercept”…What? Did they cause the operator to crap his pants and fall out of his chair? They need a new script, this one is worn thin. What will be their reaction if RF starts to patrol off our coast with their drones? Will this cause a run on Depends?

    • Funny sitcom! The American general just asks Russian fighters and fighter pilots to behave like good American citizens.

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