Russian Su-35s Harass U.S. MQ-9 Drones Over Syria During ‘Unsafe And Unprofessional’ Intercept

Su-35 MQ-9


Su-35 MQ-9
Some frames from the video launched by AFCENT.

A video recorded by the drones’ sensors reveals the Flankers lighting up the afterburners and releasing flares in entrance of the Reapers.

After the collision with an MQ-9A Reaper over the Black Sea earlier this yr, it seems that Russian jets are nonetheless getting very near US drones. This time, nonetheless, the incident occurred over Syria and all plane safely returned to base afterwards. The U.S. Air Power Central Command instantly launched a press release addressing the incident, along with the video recorded by the MQ-9s.

In line with the assertion, the incident occurred on July 5, 2023 at roughly 10:40 A.M., as three MQ-9 drones had been conducting a mission in opposition to ISIS targets. Three Russian navy plane, which AFCENT recognized as Su-35s, engaged in “unsafe and unprofessional conduct”, “harassing” the drones. We’re already properly accustomed to those phrasing after years of close intercepts in that area, nonetheless the actions throughout these incidents appear to be getting extra aggressive.

Along with the same old photographs of Flankers in very shut proximity to the intercepted plane, the video recorded by the Reapers’ sensors present the Russian plane utilizing the afterburner in entrance of the drones, in addition to releasing parachute flares which compelled the MQ-9 operators to carry out evasive maneuvers. Whereas these maneuvers had been employed by Russian plane in different events, the usage of parachute flares is somewhat unusual.

“These occasions signify one other instance of unprofessional and unsafe actions by Russian air forces working in Syria, which threaten the security of each U.S. and Russian forces,” mentioned Lt Gen Alex Grynkewich, AFCENT Commander and Mixed Forces Air Part Commander for CENTCOM. “We urge Russian forces in Syria to stop this reckless conduct and cling to the requirements of conduct anticipated of an expert air drive so we will resume our deal with the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

This incident follows experiences from earlier this yr the place Russian aircraft aggressively maneuvered while interacting with US F-16s “nearly like they’re making an attempt to dogfight”. These actions are thought of in violation of the mutually agreed deconfliction protocols and, in response to CENTCOM, the variety of these violations is quickly rising.

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


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