Russian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
The crews of the Russian fighters approached the air target within a safe distance and identified him as MQ-9 Reaper multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft.
The MQ-9 Reaper is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons — it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.
Moreover, today, Russian fighter jets also intercepted U.S. Navy P-8A “Poseidon” patrol plane and RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft.
The Russian pilots have been regularly intercepting U.S. planes approaching Russia’s borders lately.