Russia Denies U.S. Account Of Drone Incident; Claims American UAV Had Turned Off Transponder

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/14/2023
On Tuesday, the US military claimed that a Russian interceptor collided with an American MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea, causing it to collapse. The Russian Defense Ministry refuted these assertions.

According to the ministry, the UAV was flying directly toward the Russian border without an operational transponder, clearly violating the boundaries set up for the execution of the special military operation. To look into the matter, two interceptors were sent.

A rapid maneuver caused the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle to lose control of its flight, lose altitude, and crash into the lake at about 9:30 a.m. Moscow time. The Russian fighters didn't use any weapons, didn't collide with the UAV, and made it back to their home base without incident, according to a statement from the defense ministry.

Once the US European Command (EUCOM) charged Russian jets with "an unsafe and unprofessional intercept" of the drone, Moscow made a statement. The Americans claimed their espionage drone was operating in international airspace when a pair of Su-27 planes emerged, showered it with gasoline, and "hit the propeller" of the UAV, which caused it to crash into the sea. To make a statement about the incident, EUCOM held off for almost 12 hours.

Although maintaining that it is not a party to the hostilities, the US has acknowledged aiding Ukraine with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data in the battle against Russia. The Black Sea is often flown over by US and NATO surveillance planes as they approach Crimea, sometimes just before Ukrainian forces attack the Russian territory.

A US strategic bomber practiced launching missiles at St. Petersburg last week while flying within international and NATO airspace.

When Russian interceptors drive off US drones, surveillance planes, or fighters that approach the border too closely, the Pentagon frequently uses the phrase "unsafe and unprofessional" to describe the encounters.

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