CNN: US to weigh risks and rewards of drone flights over Black Sea after Russian fighter jet collided with one

The US authorities decided to conduct an additional cost-benefit analysis of US drone flights over the Black Sea in connection with the crash of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone after it was hit by a Russian warplane. CNN writes about this, citing sources.

Until such an analysis is completed, the US has decided not to completely stop drone flights. So, the military sent the same model of the MQ-9 Reaper drone to approximately the same area of ​​​​the Black Sea to inspect the crash site and monitor the actions of the Russian military, who began searching for the wreckage of the American drone. According to unofficial estimated On the American side, the Russians managed to get at least part of the wreckage, but the American side erased the MQ-9 Reaper software.

However, according to CNN sources, U.S. military personnel are “taking a close look” at U.S. drone routes over the Black Sea and assessing how best to reduce the risk of conflict with Russia over regular flights of Russian fighter jets in the Crimea region.

The Pentagon plans to analyze the overall costs and benefits of these missions by weighing the potential intelligence value of a particular route (for drones) against the risk of escalating conflict with Russia.

According to the US version, the MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed after a collision with a Russian Su-27 fighter in neutral waters over the Black Sea on the morning of March 14. Earlier, sources told CNN that the cause of the crash was that two Russian fighter jets dropped fuel right in front of the drone, and then one of them collided with it, damaging the propeller.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the crash of the drone, but not the contact of the Russian fighter with it. According to the Russian military department, the drone went into uncontrolled flight and crashed “as a result of sharp maneuvering.” Also in the Kremlin declaredthat there was no physical contact between the aircraft and the drone. The Pentagon later released a video from the crashed MQ-9 Reaper, showing how one of the Su-27s approached the drone and dropped fuel next to it, as well as a damaged drone propeller.

US authorities considered the actions of the Russian pilots were unintentional, the result of “profound incompetence”. After the incident over the Black Sea, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held telephone conversations with the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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