Downed US drone on Black Sea: Russia may send captured drone to Iran for cloning
Credit: J C Okechukwu
Russian Su-27 fighter jet sent US MQ-9 Reaper Drone to the bottom of the Black Sea, report says. The US Spy Drone had taken off from Larissa and has now become the first downed US aircraft by enemy action, since Libyan war.
It is reported that Russian fighter jets drowned the drone by first dumping fuel on it midair and then reportedly setting it on fire from the engine of one of the two Russian fighter jets. Reporters around the world are scratching their heads to understand how this was possible.
The reaper drone and the Russian fighter jets were operating over international waters (Black Sea) when one of the Russian jets deliberately flew ahead of the drone and dropped fuel on it, according to an official.
Another US official said one of the Russian jets had damaged the Reaper’s propeller which is mounted on the back of the drone, fueling rumors that the Russian jets may have released live fire on the drone.
US wing commander, James Hecker said: “Our MQ-9 aircraft was performing routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, causing it to crash.” The U.S. president, Joe Biden has already been informed of the incident, according to John Kirby.
There are reports that Russia has denied downing the drone. According to the report, Russians allegedly said the drone was flying with transponders turned off in a no-fly zone and that due to a maneuver, it fell into the sea without being hit.
The MQ-9 reaper UAV has a flight range of over 27 hours, can reach speeds of up to 44 kilometers per hour and can operate as low as 0,000 feet. It can be equipped with a maximum payload of 1.7 tonnes. It can carry out precision strikes and airstrikes. The range of sensors at its disposal is large, allowing it to track multiple ground targets and it can carry at least four hellfire air-to-ground missiles.
My take on the Downed US drone
You may not have seen this in the news but something interesting happened shortly after the incident – Romanian search and rescue helicopters operating with NATO badges, had attempted to approach the area where the American MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed in the Black Sea, but they were intercepted by Russia’s Su-27 fighter jets and sent back where they came from.
The interception took place 100km from Crimea. The Romanian MiG-21 Lancer fighters (modernized by Israel with modern radar systems) was in the operation. Russians’ capture of the drone, which they could send to Iran for cloning, is a huge blow to the Americans.
As of yesterday, the Russian fleets Novorossiysk and Sevastopol have spread out around the MQ-9 Reaper resting almost intact at a depth of 900 meters in the belly of the sea.
So, contrary to earlier reports, the Russian fighter jet dumped fuel on the drone to sink it but didn’t set it on fire. This must be a secret known only to Russians or the maybe the allied forces – downing an American drone by dumping jet fuel on it.
In other words, the drone is said to be almost 100% intact, but for a few breakaway parts. But the most important parts of the drone where vital information on its manufacture and model are stored, are said to be intact!
That’s an American nightmare and this is why NATO copters quickly attempted to see if they could retrieve. Unfortunately, Russians have the whole area on lockdown and it’s been this way for a very long time. As it is right now, nothing living or dead is allowed near that location until Russians have successfully lifted the drone to their base.
America’s DOD released footage of how the Russian fighter dumped fuel on the Reaper and claimed the fighter bumped in on the Reaper:
Russian Su-27 jet downs American MQ-9 Reaper drone by simply dropping some fuel in the sky.
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) March 16, 2023
Russians say, not so.
Two Russian conventional submarines patrol near the drone. Russian battleships have formed a sea wall around the alleged crash site of the USAF MQ-9 Reaper in the Black Sea.
Reacting angrily to what many Americans see as a humiliation from Russia, U.S. senator, Lindsay Graham said the Russian jets should have been shot down.
In his words, “Well, we should call them to account and say, ‘if you ever come close to another US aircraft flying in international waters, your planes will be shot down!”
He went further to ask, “What would Ronald Reagan do at this moment? He would start shooting down Russian planes, if they threatened our assets,” he concluded. Lindsay later admitted that US being on multiple fronts puts her in a dangerous place and says American must not show weakness.
Reacting equally harshly to Lindsay Grahams’ harsh response, the former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev wrote to Lindsay.
He said: “You are an American bastard! Better be careful not to have a plane crash!”
Never before has there been such rhetoric of extreme hostility between the two super powers, not even at the peak of the Cold War years, when there was Soviet Union and the Iron curtain. Many now fear these rhetoric may well be clear harbingers of what is to come, if the situation isn’t quickly deescalated. Read more.