The United States has sent a new reconnaissance drone toward the Ukrainian Crimea annexed by Russia. According to the Flightradar service, the RQ-4 Global Hawk with the call sign FORTE10 headed for the Black Sea.
Details: The UAV entered the Black Sea, having circled in Romanian airspace for several hours before that.
The drone reportedly took off from the Sigonella air base near the Italian city of Catania.
The US Air Force issued a statement on 14 March, in which it was reported that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet damaged an American MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and strike UAV over the Black Sea during an interception, as a result of which the drone had to be sunk.
The US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, noted that while Russian intercepts of US aircraft over the Black Sea are not uncommon, Tuesday’s episode was unique regarding how “dangerous, unprofessional and reckless” Russia’s actions were.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated on the evening of Tuesday that their Su-27 fighter jets had nothing to do with the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper American UAV in the Black Sea. In addition, they said it approached annexed Crimea and was flying in violation.
The US Department of Defense, in turn, said it was working to declassify visual information related to the incident in the international airspace over the Black Sea. The US military published a video of a Russian Su-27 fighter jet attacking the MQ-9 Reaper American UAV over the Black Sea.
The US is conducting an assessment of its drone operations in the Black Sea area following the incident. It is “taking a close look” at the drone’s routes and assessing how to better deconflict with Russian forces.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, said that the attack on the American drone was carried out over part of Russian territory, and the Americans were completely impudent, so there is no need to “stand on ceremony” with them.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu decorated the Su-27 pilots who shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea.
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