Russia Denies Shooting Down MQ-9 Over the Black Sea
Moscow. March 14. INTERFAX-AVN – The Russian military said that the Russian fighters did not use weapons against the American drone over the Black Sea, it fell as a result of sharp maneuvering.
“As a result of sharp maneuvering at around 9.30 Moscow time, the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle went into an uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Russian fighters did not use on-board weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle and safely returned to the home airfield,” the statement said.
According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, on the morning of March 14, over the Black Sea near the Crimea, Russian airspace control equipment recorded the flight of the American MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle in the direction of the state border of the Russian Federation.
“The flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle was carried out with the transponders turned off in violation of the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace and published in accordance with international norms,” the statement said.
“In order to identify the violator, fighters from the air defense duty forces were lifted into the air,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the European Command of the US Armed Forces reported that the American drone MQ-9 Reaper fell into the Black Sea after it was hit by a Russian Su-27 fighter.
“Our MQ-9 spacecraft conducted a routine operation in international airspace. He was struck by a Russian aircraft conducting an escort. This led to the crash of the drone, to its irretrievable loss,” said James Hecker, commander of the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa.
The MQ-9 Reaper is currently the primary attack drone in the U.S. service. The drone is capable of speeds of more than 400 km / h and be in the air for up to 24 hours. It can carry up to 14 AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.
The Su-27 (NATO codification – Flanker) is a Russian fourth-generation fighter developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. The Su-27s are part of the air defense forces on duty. The aircraft is designed to conduct long-range and short-range air combat, intercept and destroy manned and unmanned aircraft.