US Drone Crashes in Black Sea After Encounter With Russian Fighters

US European Command said Tuesday that a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone collided with a Russian Su-27 fighter jet. The Russian Defense Ministry denied the idea that the aircraft came in contact and said the drone crashed into the water after making a sharp maneuver.

European Command said in a press release that two Russian Su-27 fighters intercepted the MQ-9. “At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters,” the command said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the drone was flying with its transponders off over the Black Sea near Crimea in an area that was declared off-limits by Russia. It said Russian fighters were sent to intercept the MQ-9. The ministry said that “as a result of sharp maneuver, the US drone went into uncontrollable flight with a loss of altitude” and crashed into the water.