Russian jets U.S. drone collide Black Sea
Image courtesy of U.S. European Command via Twitter

Russian fighter jets Su-27 collided with a U.S. surveillance drone MQ-9 over the Black Sea on Tuesday. The jet hit the drone’s propellers causing its American controllers to bring it down in international waters. This is the first noted interaction between the Russian and American militaries since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

John F Kirby, a national security council spokesperson, revealed this wasn’t the first event. There have been more similar intercepts with Russian aircraft over the past few weeks. However, according to military officials, this was more dangerous and unprofessional in nature.

Russian jets collide with U.S. surveillance drone over Black Sea


On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the U.S. surveillance drone MQ-9 Reaper drowned in the Black Sea. It descended into international waters after a collision with Russian Su-27 fighter jets. This escalated the tension between the White House of America and the Kremlin of Russia.

According to the U.S. military, the drone was flying a typical surveillance mission when two Russian war jets intercepted it. The incident occurred about 75 miles southwest of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Which Russia often uses as the base for launching devastating air strikes.

The military’s European command disclosed more details about the incident. In the official statement, they revealed, the Russian fighter jets dumped oil and flew in front of the MQ-9. The officials called this behavior environmentally harmful and unprofessional.

Russia denies the U.S. claims about the collision

Following the drowning of the American surveillance drone MQ-19, Russia’s defense ministry released an official statement. The ministry denied U.S. claims of its aircraft contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). According to their reports, the drone had crashed after “sharp maneuvering.”

Ned Price, The U.S state department spokesperson, arranged a summon with Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Both the involved party discussed the collision and later the Russian embassy published its remakers on its official website.

In the remarks, Antonov refutes the U.S. military’s claims about the deliberate collision. He clarifies the American drone deliberately and provocatively entered Russian territory. However, they didn’t collide with U.S. drones on purpose.

The significance of the Black Sea in the matter

Russia U.S. drone collide Black Sea
a map showing the Black Sea (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Black Sea has always been a significant part of the war in Ukraine. Due to its location touching Russia and Ukraine among other countries. The U.S. officials revealed they were worried that some incident or miscommunication over the Black Sea may lead to more problems.

Last year Russia fired a missile over an unarmed British surveillance plane that was flying over the Black Sea as well. According to U.S. officials, Russia often intercepts airborne checks of American and other allied aircraft over the Black Sea.

Most of these engagements are a sign of threats and intimidation from the Russian military. However, they have flown dangerously close to American and other allied aircraft many times in the past decade. This incident was particularly dangerous which is the major reason behind the U.S. military’s complaints against the Russian aircraft.

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Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.