Open in App
Daily News

U.S. drone crashes into Black Sea after Russian jet nicks propeller in ‘violation of international law’

By Theresa Braine, New York Daily News,


The U.S. took down one of its surveillance drones over the Black Sea on Tuesday after a Russian fighter jet nicked its propeller in what State Department spokesman Ned Price called a “brazen violation of international law.”

Moscow said it sent fighter jets scrambling to intercept the drone, but denied touching or firing at it before it maneuvered sharply and crashed into the water. Russia’s defense ministry told BBC News that the drone’s transponders, which enable tracking for the aircraft, were turned off .

It was the first time since the height of the Cold War that a U.S. aircraft was brought down after a Russian warplane hit. The incident prompted the State Department to lodge a protest with the Russian ambassador in Washington, as well as the U.S. ambassador to Russia to speak to officials in Moscow.

The full-size, unmanned Reaper aircraft was on a routine surveillance mission over international waters, U.S. European Command said in a statement from Stuttgart, Germany.

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”

Before one of two Russian Su-27 aircraft hit the MQ-9 drone’s propeller, the planes “dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” European Command’s statement said. “This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”

The incident also heightened tensions over Russia’s year-long war in Ukraine . Moscow, for its part, has taken umbrage over U.S. intelligence flights that edge near the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia wrested from Ukraine in 2014.

With News Wire Services

For more stories, Subscribe to Daily News.

©2023 New York Daily News. Visit

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0