According to the US military, a US MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed after an encounter with a Russian jet, but Russia has denied that the two aircraft made direct contact.
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A Russian fighter jet has collided with a US drone, causing the unmanned US aircraft to crash into the Black Sea, the American military says.
The incident highlights the increasing risk of direct confrontation between Russia and the US over the Ukraine war.
The US says the drone was on a routine mission in international airspace when two Russian jets tried to intercept it.
Russia said the drone crashed after a “sharp manoeuvre”, and denied that the two aircraft made direct contact.
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The Russian defence ministry also said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying with its transponders turned off. Transponders are communications devices that allow the aircraft to be tracked.
Reaper drones are surveillance aircraft with a 20m (66ft) wingspan.
The incident happened at about 07:03 Central European Time (06:03 GMT) on Tuesday, according to the US military.
The LW-30 laser defense system, a vehicle-mounted “drone killer” created by China Space Sanjiang Group is the Chinese’s strategy to shoot down US drones in a cost-effective way.
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