Reaper drone down in Black Sea

The Biden administration released a video  of a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a US Airforce surveillance drone as the US sought to hold Russia responsible for the collision that led to the drone’s crash into the Black Sea without escalating already fraught tensions with the Kremlin.

What is the MQ-9 Reaper?

The MQ-9 Reaper is a large unmanned aircraft manufactured by military contractor, General Atomics. It is remotely operated by a two-person team, consisting of a pilot and an aircrew member who operates sensors and guides weapons.

The primary use is as “an intelligence-collection asset”, while also highlighting its “unique capability to perform” precision strikes against “high-value and time-sensitive targets”

Which countries use Reaper drones?

The US is by far the largest purchaser of Reaper drones. UK has accelerated its use of Reaper drones over the last decade.

France, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and the Netherlands all also operate Reaper drones.

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