WASHINGTON: American military officials called Tuesday’s crash of a MQ-9 “Reaper” surveillance drone into the Black Sea a “unsafe” incident after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted and hit the drone’s propeller.


At 7:03 a.m., one of two Russian Su-27 jets that were intercepting the American spy drone crashed into it (0603 GMT). The US military said in a statement that the Russian fighter jets repeatedly flew too close to the MQ-9 and dumped fuel on it before the crash.

The commander of the United States Air Force in the region, Lieutenant General James Hecker, said in a statement that the MQ-9 had been conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, causing the drone to crash and be lost entirely.

Both planes were very close to colliding thanks to the Russians’ recklessness.

Moscow did not immediately respond.

According to the US military, Russian pilots have a history of dangerous behavior near US and allied aircraft, including over the Black Sea, and this incident was just the latest example. Countries like Russia and Ukraine border the Black Sea, which is located between Europe and Asia.