RQ-4B Global Hawk goes off radar screens and changes course over Black Sea

US RQ-4B Global Hawk disappears over Black Sea

An RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle of US Air Force was on a reconnaissance mission over the Black Sea on June 4, 2024. While patrolling the area off the coast of Crimea, the drone disappeared from maps and subsequently changed its route.

The US reconnaissance drone with tail number 10-2045 and call sign FORTE12 took off from Sigonella airbase in Sicily, Italy. According to Flightradar24, the drone gained altitude and flew through the airspace of Greece and Bulgaria and headed towards the south-eastern part of the Black Sea.

The drone circled at an altitude of 15.5 kilometres above neutral waters to conduct reconnaissance activities in the zone of the special military operation zone and the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula. These are routine operations that the US military conduct in the region.

While on patrol, the drone went off radar screens and then changed its usual route.

More than 4,000 users were tracking the flight of the strategic reconnaissance UAV — it ranks first in popularity among all aircraft. The drone disappeared from the map for some time. At around 11:40 a. m., the service disabled the tracking of the drone and stopped displaying it.

After several such episodes, the US Air Force drone was spotted again near Russia'a Sochi. It left the area south of Crimea while a US Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft was operating west of the peninsula. By 14:45, the drone with call sign FORTE12 had already flown up to Romania. The drone continued to operate in close proximity to the coast of the NATO member country, circled over the Romanian city of Constanta and flew over the Black Sea again.

As noted by the Military Observer Telegram channel, which regularly monitors the movements of American aircraft over the Black Sea, the route that the US drone made on June 4 was uncommon for a drone in this area. The UAV may have adjusted its route due to the interference of Russian electronic warfare systems.

American drones regularly conduct reconnaissance flights over the neutral waters of the Black Sea and off the coast of Crimea. This practice lasts for years.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov