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September 28, 2023 5:00 am

Science And Aerospace

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Russian Su-27 Flanker Collides With U.S. MQ-9 Reaper Over The Black Sea

Su-27 MQ-9

Su-27 MQ-9
A composite picture exhibiting a US MQ-9 and a Russian Su-27 flying in shut proximity (file images edited by The Aviationist for illustration functions solely)

The Russian plane struck the RPA’s propeller forcing the U.S. to deliver the Reaper down in worldwide waters.

A Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet and a US MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft have been concerned in an inflight collision over the Black Sea earlier right now, in response to the statement released by the US European Command, inflicting the unmanned plane to ditch in worldwide waters. The mishap occurred as two Russian fighters carried out an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept focusing on the drone because it was working in worldwide airspace.

The assertion says that, at roughly 7:03 AM (CET), one of many Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9 RPA, inflicting U.S. forces to must deliver the MQ-9 down in worldwide waters. EUCOM says that a number of instances earlier than the collision, the Su-27s dumped gasoline on and flew in entrance of the MQ-9 in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional method”, demonstrating “a scarcity of competence along with being unsafe and unprofessional”.

“Our MQ-9 plane was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian plane, leading to a crash and full lack of the MQ-9,” stated U.S. Air Power Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “Actually, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians practically prompted each plane to crash.”

The press launch didn’t state if the MQ-9 will likely be recovered, whereas it states that US and Allied plane will proceed to function in worldwide airspace and referred to as for the Russian pilots to conduct themselves professionally and safely. Previously, different “unprofessional” intercept over the Black Sea noticed Russian fighters closing in within meters from US aircraft and even crossing paths, however collisions have been all the time averted by the crews. EUCOM says that such episodes are harmful and will result in miscalculation and unintended escalation.

It isn’t identified from the place the MQ-9 was launched for the mission. The US have MQ-9s ahead deployed to NAS Sigonella (Italy), Miroslawiec AB (Poland), Campia Turzii (Romania) and recently Larissa Air Base (Greece). The RPAs routinely depart their bases to carry out missions over the Black Sea, along with the bigger RQ-4 World Hawk.

A number of ISR plane have been working within the area when the “shut encounter” occurred. Amongst them, the Italian Air Power G550 CAEW of the Job Group “Argo” deployed to Romania.

On the time of writing, a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon is flying over the Romanian shoreline: its presence there might be associated to the restoration of the Reaper drone.

Apparently, because the information of the collision was launched, the Italian MOD posted a tweet concerning the newest QRA launch of the Eurofighter Typhoons supporting NATO enhanced Air Policing Space-South, from Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base, Costanta, Romania. In the mean time we’re unable to substantiate whether or not the Italian plane have been scrambled to answer the Russian Su-27 exercise close to the MQ-9 or not.


Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally learning to attain a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT strategies utilized to the world of army operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, overlaying aviation, protection, battle, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.

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