Listen to this article Russian Fighter Jet Collides With US drone Over Black Sea
A collision between a Russian fighter jet and a US drone caused the unmanned US aircraft to crash into the Black Sea, according to the American military. The incident highlights the increasing risk of direct confrontation between Russia and the US over the Ukraine war.
The Drone Collision Incident
The US military reported that the MQ-9 Reaper drone was on a routine mission in international airspace when two Russian jets attempted to intercept it. The US claimed that the Russian fighter jet collided with the drone, resulting in its complete loss.
According to the US military, several times before the collision, the Russian Su-27 fighter jets dumped fuel on the drone in a “reckless, environmentally unsound, and unprofessional manner.” The collision happened at around 07:03 Central European Time (06:03 GMT) on Tuesday, according to the US military.
Russia denied that the two aircraft made direct contact and instead claimed that the drone crashed after a “sharp manoeuvre”. The Russian defence ministry also stated that the MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying with its transponders turned off. Transponders are communications devices that allow the aircraft to be tracked.
The US summoned the Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, to protest against the incident. Following the meeting, Russian state media quoted Antonov as saying that Moscow saw the drone incident as “a provocation.”
Potential Motivations and Consequences
The incident raises questions about whether the collision was a deliberate attack on a US aircraft or a mistake by a Russian pilot. The key question is whether the Russian fighter jet was attempting to disrupt the US drone and its work, or whether it was a deliberate attempt to bring it down.
The US has reported a “pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots” interacting with allied aircraft in the region. Therefore, if this was a deliberate attack on a US aircraft by a Russian warplane, it would amount to a huge provocation and a substantial escalation. In that case, the attack would be seen as an attempt by the Kremlin to test the response of the United States.
Western allies have worked hard to prevent the Ukraine conflict from escalating into a direct confrontation with Russia. However, this incident over the Black Sea seems to have raised tensions further. The US will now have to evaluate its response carefully. As US military commanders warned in their statement, this was a dangerous act that “could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.”