Russia’s defence ministry said Tuesday it scrambled fighter jets following the detection of a US drone over the Black Sea but denied causing it to crash despite accusations from Washington.
The US military said a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday dumped fuel on an American drone and then collided with it, causing the drone to crash.
The defence ministry in Moscow said it detected an American MQ-9 drone “over the waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean peninsula” flying “towards the Russian state border”.
It added that the drone was flying with its “transponders turned off” and fighter jets were scrambled “to identify” it.
“As a result of sharp manoeuvring at around 0930 MSK (0630 GMT) the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and collided with the surface of the water,” the ministry said.
“The Russian fighters did not use their on-board weapons, made no contact with the UAV and safely returned to their home airfield,” the ministry said.