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Russian Su-27 Strikes U.S. MQ-9 Reaper Drone, Downs The Drone

On Mar. 14, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet made contact with a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone's propeller in international airspace, forcing the U.S. to bring the Reaper down in the Black sea. Before the contact was made, the Su-27 "dumped fuel on, and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner" per the DoD. The offending Su-27 was able to land even though it likely suffered damage from the encounter.

The MQ-9 is primarily used for surveillance or aerial attacks and is often confused with the much larger RQ-4 Global Hawk which is strictly a surveillance drone. The Russian Su-27 is a long-range air defense fighter jet designed to compete with the now-retired F-14 Tomcat & the still-active F-15 Eagle.

An MQ-9 Reaper similar to the one involved.

A Russian Su-27 similar to the one involved.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk.

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