Three days after the incident with the Russian aircraft ramming and disabling the American strategic drone, the US Air Force sent another reconnaissance drone, this time RQ-4 Global Hawk, to the Black Sea.
According to the online service Flightradar24, which tracks air traffic around the world, the US Air Force drone flew in the airspace of Bulgaria and Romania, after then continued into the airspace over the Black Sea. According to the American media, the UAV was sent there to observe Russia’s attempts to find and retrieve the wreckage of the collapsed MQ-9 Reaper.
The incident happened on the morning of March 14. A pair of Russian Su-27 fighter jets carried out dangerous maneuvers near an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in the neutral waters of the Black Sea. The Russian aircraft also dumped fuel near the drone and flew so close that the drone’s propeller was hit and damaged.
The drone subsequently lost control and crashed into the sea.
The Russians claim that they allegedly did not touch the American UAV. However, at the same time, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu presented awards to the pilots who participated in this incident.
Several Russian warships were urgently sent to the site where the UAV crashed to retrieve its wreckage and gain access to American technologies. The Pentagon later reported that the software and all the information that the drone had collected was erased remotely.
After the incident, the Pentagon assured that it intends to continue flights over the Black Sea, despite the dangerous provocations of the Russians.