A Russian Su-27 jet fighter collided with an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea, causing the US military to bring down the unmanned vehicle in international waters. According to US Air Force General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, the MQ-9 was conducting routine operations in international airspace before it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft. He added that the unsafe and unprofessional act nearly caused both aircraft to crash.
The Black Sea, which lies between Europe and Asia, is bordered by Russia and Ukraine, among other countries. According to the US, several fuel dumps and reckless maneuvers by the Su-27s were observed prior to the collision, demonstrating a lack of competence on the part of the Russian pilots.
The incident was deemed “unsafe, unprofessional, and reckless” by the White House spokesperson, John Kirby, who said that President Joe Biden has been briefed about the matter. While encounters with Russian planes are not uncommon, Kirby noted that this particular incident was noteworthy because it resulted in the downing of a US aircraft.
It is important to note that incidents like these can have serious consequences for international relations, especially given the ongoing tensions between the US and Russia. Both parties need to take measures to avoid such encounters and accidents in the future, as they can escalate quickly and have far-reaching implications.