Listen to this article US Resumes Black Sea Drone Operations Following Russian Confrontation
On Tuesday, a Russian fighter aircraft downed an American drone, marking the first direct U.S.-Russian confrontation since the start of the Ukraine war. The incident has further strained the already tense relationship between the two nations. In response, the US has resumed drone operations for surveillance in the Black Sea region.
Resumption of Drone Operations
Two U.S. officials reported that a reconnaissance drone mission took place on Friday in the Black Sea region. They confirmed that the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was flown for the first time since the Tuesday incident.Despite the collision, Pentagon officials have repeatedly highlighted this week that the incident will not prevent Washington from undertaking similar operations.
The Downed Drone
According to the US Military, the MQ-9 drone, which had a value of $32 million, was carrying out a surveillance and reconnaissance operation to assist Ukraine in its defense against Russia when a pair of Russian Su-27 flanker fighters intercepted it and made two very close approaches.During the 30-minute episode, the planes flew over the drone 19 times and splashed jet fuel on their final three to four flybys.
The Military claimed that the loss of the video feed was a consequence of another Russian jet maneuver, which they assert was a result of a Russian fighter slamming into the drone. The Pentagon presented video footage of the damaged propeller of the drone, which they claimed was a direct outcome of the accident and rendered the drone inoperable. The drone was intentionally crashed into the deep waters of the Black Sea, ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200-1,500 meters) in depth, because it was impossible to retrieve it.
Russia refuted American claims that its two Su-24 fighter jets behaved carelessly around the American aircraft in flight, blaming the drone’s “sharp maneuvering” instead for the accident. Both Russia and the US have since blamed each other for the MQ-9 crash.
The collision over international waters serves as a reminder of the potential for direct conflict between the United States and Russia over Ukraine. The incident has also highlighted the importance of drone operations in the region, as they play a crucial role in Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression.
Despite the downing of the MQ-9 drone, the US has shown its determination to continue its surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the Black Sea region. The resumption of drone operations indicates the US’s commitment to Ukraine’s defense against Russia and its resolve to maintain its presence in the region.Read more: US Resumes Black Sea Drone Operations Following Russian Confrontation