Mysterious incident: Russian MiG-31 interceptor flies near RQ-4B Global Hawk over Black Sea

Russian MiG-31 hunts away RQ-4B Global Hawk over Black Sea

New details have emerged of the incident with the American RQ-4B Global Hawk drone in the skies over the Black Sea. The author of FighterBomber Telegram channel believes that the US Air Force reconnaissance drone could have been shot down.

There is no official information about what happened yet. Yet, the Russian Mig-31 fighter did not open fire or commit any aggressive actions against the US drone. Speaking about the details of the incident, the author of FighterBomber Telegram channel indicated that the episode with the US drone had long been awaited after the previous incident with the American MQ-9 Reaper drone. On March 14, 2023, a Russian Su-27 intercepted and damaged the drone causing it to crash into the Black Sea.

This time, the RQ-4B Global Hawk started its reconnaissance mission off the Black Sea coast, the coast of Crimea and traveled deeper into the territory. The Global Hawk, unlike the MQ-9 Reaper, is a large strategic drone the size of a house. This UAV can stay airborne for many hours at altitudes of 16 kilometers and higher.

A Russian Mig-31 flying over the Global Hawk at a very high speed was a mere coincidence, the author of the channel said. The flight of the Mig-31 caused Global Hawk flight parameters to change. The drone abruptly ended its reconnaissance combat mission and headed back to its home base.

The MiG-31 did not open fire at the drone. The Russian fighter jet was flying at Mach 2.3 speed (more than 2800 kilometers per hour). RQ-4B Global Hawk UAVs typically operate over the Black Sea at altitudes of about 16,000 meters. The MiG-31 maximum altitude is 21,500 meters, its maximum speed is 3,100 kilometers per hour — the fighter crew was at its limits.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin did not have information about the US UAV that might have been shot down over the Black Sea. Peskov also refused to answer the question of whether Russia had the right to shoot down US reconnaissance drones over the Black Sea after the missile attack on Sevastopol (Peskov redirected the question to the Defence Ministry).

Military correspondent Alexey Zhivov assumed that the RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone could help the Armed Forces of Ukraine guide ATACMS missiles during the attack on Sevastopol. The drone immediately disappeared from radar screens after the attack, the correspondent said.

In 2023, an American Reaper drone violated "the boundaries of the temporary regime for the use of airspace,” and then at some point, "as a result of sharp maneuvering, the vehicle went into uncontrolled flight” and crashed into the sea, the Russian Defence Ministry said. The American military claimed that the drone crashed after a Russian Su-27 fighter dumped fuel on it and damaged one of its propellers.

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

MiG-31 afterburner takeoff
Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov