SU-30SM, SU-35S, and SU-34 flying in formation - Sputnik International, 1920
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Russian MoD on US Drone Incident: UAV Fell Into Black Sea Due to Own Sharp Maneuvering

© WikipediaAn MQ-9 Reaper, a hunter-killer surveillance UAV
An MQ-9 Reaper, a hunter-killer surveillance UAV - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.03.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US drone MQ-9 fell into the Black Sea on Tuesday morning due to its own sharp maneuvering, Russian fighters did not come into contact with it and did not use weapons, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"As a result of sharp maneuvering around 09:30 Moscow time [06:30 GMT], unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 went into an uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface. The Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle and returned safely to their home airfield," the ministry said.
The ministry clarified that on the morning of March 14, the airspace control of the Russian Aerospace Forces had recorded the flight of US unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 over the Black Sea in the region of the Crimean peninsula in the direction of the Russian state border.
The flight of the drone "was carried out with transponders turned off, violating the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace and published in accordance with international standards," the defense ministry noted.
Russian fighters from the air defense forces on duty were scrambled in order to identify the intruder, the ministry added.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder on Tuesday declined to disclose whether the US MQ-9 Reaper drone that crashed over the Black Sea after the intercept with Russian aircraft was armed.

"I'm not going to get into the specific profile of this particular aircraft. As you know the MQ-9 does have the ability to be armed," Ryder said during a press briefing.

Ryder also added, that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has not talked to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu after the incident.
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