The US Navy has released a video of a Russian fighter jet intercepting and colliding with an American drone over the Black Sea. The incident occurred on June 4, 2022, and involved a Russian Su-27 fighter jet and a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, which was operating in international airspace. The Russian jet was scrambled to intercept the drone, which the Russian Defense Ministry claimed was flying towards the Russian border.
The video shows the Russian jet coming dangerously close to the drone, which was filming the encounter. The fighter jet then collides with the drone, causing it to crash into the sea. The US Navy called the incident “unsafe and unprofessional” and said that the Russian jet had violated international norms.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied any wrongdoing and accused the US of deliberately provoking the incident. They claimed that the drone had been flying towards the Russian border and had ignored repeated warnings to change its course. They also accused the US of using the incident as a pretext to increase military presence in the region.
The incident comes amid increased tensions between Russia and the West, particularly in the Black Sea region. Russia has been accused of escalating its military presence in the area and of harassing US and NATO military assets. The US has responded by increasing its military presence in the region and conducting more frequent military exercises.
The incident also highlights the risks of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operating in contested airspace. As UAVs become more common, they are increasingly being used for intelligence gathering and surveillance purposes, as well as for offensive operations. This has raised concerns about the potential for accidents or incidents like the one that occurred in the Black Sea.
Both the US and Russia have accused each other of violating international norms in their military operations. The incident in the Black Sea is just the latest example of the tensions and risks involved in the ongoing military competition between the two countries.