A Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted and struck the propeller of a U.S. military MQ-9 "Reaper" surveillance drone on Tuesday (March 14), causing it to crash into the Black Sea, the Pentagon said, in the first such incident since Russia's invasion of Ukraine over a year ago.
The event was strongly condemned by the White House and the Pentagon. NATO informed its allies.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense explained that the cause of the incident was not the contact of the warplanes with the US drone that had previously crashed into the Black Sea, but the sharp maneuvering of the plane.
"The Russian fighters did not use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV and returned safely to their home airfield," the defense ministry said.