On Tuesday, March 14, due to the collision of the russian Su-27 with the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle in the neutral waters of the Black Sea near the occupied Crimea, the United States lost its drone.
The US has already stated that before the accident, a pair of Russian Su-27 aircraft dropped fuel in front of the drone in dangerous proximity to the UAV. After a collision with the aim of preventing the drone from falling into the hands of the russians, it was destroyed. At the same time they reported in the russian federation that the MQ-9 Reaper "fell by itself" as a result of "sharp maneuvering", but all russian aircraft "successfully returned to the base".
At the same time, a question arose regarding the wreckage, which may be of interest to the russian federation for study. In particular, the Pentagon immediately announced that they had "taken measures for the purpose of protection", refusing to elaborate on this issue. Most likely, it is about the fact that after losing control of the drone after being rammed by a Russian aircraft, all its key components were undermined by embedded means.
Subsequently, the Russian Federation published a video of the flight of the Su-27 next to the drone even before the ram. It shows the MQ-9 Reaper flying unarmed.
The fact is that for the US, the loss of an MQ-9 Reaper UAV even directly over "enemy" territory is not something extraordinary. In particular, in 2017 and twice in 2019, this UAV was shot down by the Houthis over Yemen, all three times the drone fell on enemy-controlled territory. Another MQ-9 Reaper in Libya was destroyed by russia-made Pantsir-S1 medium-range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system with the active participation of PMC Wagner. In 2020, two drones of this type at once, according to the official version, collided in Syria, according to the unofficial version, they were shot down.
After these incidents, it is more than optimistic to believe that the russian federation does not have MQ-9 Reaper wreckage, because in total, at least six such drones were lost over enemy territory. It should also not be thought that the US was not prepared for such scenarios and did not foresee the guaranteed destruction of all components that could be of importance to the enemy.
Thus, it is unlikely that the event in the sky over the Black Sea on March 14 can be considered as some turning point. Moreover, due to the fact that the drone was not the first that was lost by the US due to the actions of the russian federation, it is hardly worth expecting any drastic steps from the official Washington.
It should also be noted that the russian federation seems to be opposing the MQ-9 Reaper not for the first time, because it is unlikely that the tactic of dumping fuel on the unmanned drone appeared only now. At the same time, as Yuriy Ignat, the spokesman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, noted, the US continues to use the MQ-9 Reaper, and a new one is operating instead of the one lost in the Black Sea.
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