(RepublicanReport.org) – There was recently an incident involving a Russian fighter jet, a Su-27, and an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in which the two aircraft collided. The US drone descended into the Black Sea after the Russian pilot repeatedly harassed the American aircraft, conducting close flybys and dumping jet fuel on the drone. The US government recently released footage of the encounter between the two aircraft for the American public to see.
Russian pilots have come under scrutiny for their aggressive actions against US aircrafts in international airspace. The most recent came in the form of a pilot harassing a drone which ultimately led to its total loss. According to a statement from the US Department of Defense, the MQ-9 Reaper was “conducting routine operations in international airspace” when the Russian fighter intercepted it. The video the US government released shows the Su-37 approaching the drone and flying dangerously close to the aircraft, resulting in a collision with the unmanned vehicle’s propellor.
— Guy Elster (@guyelster) March 16, 2023
Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon Press Secretary, noted the collision likely damaged the Russian jet, mentioning that he believes the pilot was forced to land but was otherwise safe. Also seen in the video was the fact the Russian pilot attempted to dump jet fuel on the drone.
According to US Air Force General James B. Hecker, the incident “demonstrates a lack of competence” and was “unsafe and unprofessional.” Hecker added that these actions “are dangerous,” adding they “could lead to miscalculation” as well as “unintended escalation.”
The US maintains that it conducts operations like this all the time, adding that it was well within the parameters of international aviation rules. However, Russian officials say the drone’s presence was hostile, claiming the incident displayed that the US was involved in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
According to The Daily Wire, the Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, mentioned their military was going to attempt to recover the MQ-9 Reaper, worth more than $32 million. US General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained he wasn’t going to declare the Russian pilot’s actions an “act of war,” claiming “incidents happen.”
GEN. MILLEY: "As far as an act of war goes, I'm not gonna…go there. Incidents happen." pic.twitter.com/exBXmrDf8f
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 15, 2023
The recent incident comes as the relationship between Washington, DC and Moscow has become increasingly tense. Ryder noted that the US consistently flies through international airspace in line with international laws and the rules of host nations when needed, adding the US has no intention of stopping and will continue to conduct the routine flights.
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