On Tuesday, a remarkable event took place in the airspace over the Black Sea. A Russian SU-27 jet collided with a US drone that the Russians had been harassing.
According to the U.S. European Command, the two SU-27 jets tracked the MQ-9 Reaper drone as it flew in international airspace.
Prior to impact, the jets flew in an unsafe and reckless manner towards the drone and dumped fuel on it. At around 7 am, the collision occurred, forcing US personnel to bring the drone down in international waters.
In the wake of this incident, the chief commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, General James B. Hecker, shared his thoughts on the matter. Hecker condemned the Russians for their lack of expertise while also accusing them of engaging in dangerous and unprofessional behavior while interacting with other countries and Allied partners. Hecker reinforced the US’s stance and urged Russia to adhere to international law and take more safety measures when operating in international airspace.
The running of regular aviation operations in Europe has been commonplace for some time now, with all activities being carried out in accordance with international law and with the consent of concerned nations.