HomeInternational Geopolitics2nd MQ-9 Reaper Drone 'Shot Down' After Many Close Calls! 2023 Turns...

2nd MQ-9 Reaper Drone ‘Shot Down’ After Many Close Calls! 2023 Turns Out To Be A Bad Year For US UAVs



As tensions continue to run high in the volatile Middle Eastern Region, some defense officials have informed the media that the Houthi militant group, backed by Iran, shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper Drone off the coast of Yemen.

The US defense official told the media that the MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down by the militants while it was flying over international waters and in international airspace. Yemen is bounded to the south by the Gulf of Aden and to the west by the Red Sea.

The shootout of the MQ-9 Reaper Drone has since been acknowledged by a Houthi spokesperson who claimed that the drone was flying in Yemeni airspace when it was shot down. The US Central Command is reportedly investigating the incident, which may have cost a $32 million loss to the United States.

The Houthi group is yet to share more details about how the drone was shot down, but a video has been published that shows the moment the Reaper was shot down by an air defense system belonging to the Houthis.

There has been no word from either side about the status of the drone at the time of writing this report. EurAsian Times could not independently verify whether the drone suffered some damage or was totally destroyed in the attack.

Notably, the shootout of the MQ-9 Reaper considered a prized possession of the US military, comes at a time when the US has expanded its presence in the Middle East. The US transferred military assets, including aircraft carriers, Marines, and support ships, to the Middle East and deployed troops on board military ships in the Red Sea, which separates Israel and Yemen.

The United States maintains that its military expansion in the region has been aimed at preventing a region-wide escalation, with Iran and its proxies warning of attacks if Israel did not stop bombing Gaza.

However, with regional militant groups accusing the US of supplying the IDF and encouraging the carnage, the attacks against US forces in the Middle East have also recorded a dramatic rise. In the last three weeks, there have been more than forty distinct strikes on American military facilities in Syria and Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

The shootdown of the Reaper comes three weeks after the USS Carney, a warship of the US Navy, successfully intercepted several missiles and drone strikes fired by the Houthis during their northward journey over the Red Sea. Over nine hours, the ship reportedly shot down four cruise missiles and fifteen drones. At the time, military analysts noted that their trajectory indicated that the projectiles were aimed towards Israel.ย 

As of now, it remains unclear whether the MQ-9 Reaper was armed as the drone can carry a variety of armaments, including missiles and laser-guided bombs.ย 

Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagonโ€™s top spokesman, recently said, โ€œWe know that the Houthis have the ability, by the missiles, that theyโ€™re employing to range targets in Israel.โ€ There is currently no information about which missile was used by the Houthis to bring the Reaper down into the Red Sea.

Intriguingly, the drone attack happened on the same day that President Joe Biden gave the order for two F-15 fighter aircraft from the United States to launch an airstrike on a weapons storage facility used by rebel and military organizations in Iran in eastern Syria. A similar strike was conducted by the US on October 26.

This hasnโ€™t been the best year for the US MQ-9 Reaper drones, with multiple attacks reported on the UAVs and at least one incident when a Reaper drone was downed by an adversary in another corner of the world.

Bad Year For MQ-9 Reaper Drones

MQ-9 Reaper drone is outfitted with long-range radar and can offer commanders a full-motion view of the sea below. These aircraft have carried out various missions abroad, including close air support, search and rescue, maritime interdiction, strike coordination, reconnaissance, and surveillance.

However, when the MQ-9 was on one such surveillance mission over the Black Sea, it was confronted by two Su-27 Flankers of the Russian Air Force in March this year. At the time, the US military announced that the Reaper was first attacked by the Su-27, which sprayed jet fuel on the drone in an attempt to destabilize it.

su-27
File Image: Su-27

Later, it noted that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet broke the propeller on an MQ-9 Reaper drone, causing it to crash into the Black Sea. On its part, Russia initially denied any direct contact between its aircraft and the drone and said that the MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying with its transponders turned off and crashed after a โ€œsharp maneuver.โ€

However, a video was subsequently released by the US military which showed the engagement between the Su-27 and the MQ-9 Reaper drone. The entire incident was captured on the droneโ€™s revolving electro-optical system, which was angled backward in the direction of the push-propeller and revealed the Su-27 approaching from the back.

The shootdown of the drone over the Black Sea had a direct impact on US missions in the region. In the aftermath of the incident, both Russian and American officials claimed that the downing of the drone ended up reducing American airborne surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the region since the latterโ€™s aircraft and drones were forced to fly farther south and away from Ukraineโ€™s coast.

Although the US has frequently used the drone to โ€œkeep an eye out,โ€ that specific incident was a massive blow to its military.

The MQ-9 has been under threat for almost a year now. After the March incident triggered a furor and ignited the threat of an escalation between the two sides, a US official disclosed in May that a Russian surface-to-air missile had narrowly missed striking an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in Syria in November 2022.

The drone was damaged as the missile exploded about 40 feet from it, but it was able to return to its base and land without incident.

However, despite these engagements with Russia, the MQ-9 Reapers have refused to budge. Earlier this year, Russian forces complained that the UAV frequently approached its positions in Syria.

A high-ranking Russian official said that the Russian Armed Forces had observed ten violations of the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) belonging to the โ€œinternational anti-terrorist coalitionโ€ led by the US during the day in Syria.

On its part, the US CENTCOM complained that Russian fighter jets were engaging in dangerous interceptions of their MQ-9 Reapers and harassing them. It emphasized that the Russian jets were violating established norms and protocols by deploying numerous parachute flares in the path of the drones, resulting in the need for evasive maneuvers by the US aircraft.

Military experts and analysts have repeatedly warned that if the Russian air defense systems downed one of these drones once again, it could lead to gross miscalculation and escalation between the two sides.ย 

ย 



Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

All

Defence Ministry set to clear โ‚น70,000 crore frigates’ order

New Delhi: The defence ministry is set to clear a mega โ‚น70,000 crore order for new warships for the Indian Navy. The stealth frigates...

Zen Technologies launches AI-powered robot for global defense market

Zen Technologies, an anti-drone technology and defence training solutions provider, in collaboration with its subsidiary AI Turing Technologies on Monday introduced AI-powered robot Prahasta,...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

AMCA to be integrated with sophisticated indigenous Distributed Aperture System (DAS) that making it a formidable air asset for the Indian Air Force

Source : IgMp Bureau Indiaโ€™s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is on the brink of a revolutionary transformation with the integration of a sophisticated Distributed...

AMCA to incorporate the best features of both 5th and 6th Generation fighters: ADA sources

Source : IgMp Bureau India's strides toward indigenous air dominance receive a substantial boost with the green signal for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)...

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months

Miscellanous

With High Hopes, AMCA and TEDBF twin indigenous fighter projects waiting for CCS approval of a massive combined fund of Rs. 29,000 crores for...

Source : IgMp Bureau India's aspirations for self-sufficiency in cutting-edge fighter jet technology persist amidst challenges and fiscal constraints. The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)...

Hamas proposes three-stage ceasefire over 135 days, leading to end of war

Hamas has proposed a ceasefire plan that would quiet the guns in Gaza for four-and-a-half months leading to an end to the war, in...

Indian Armyโ€™s Spear Corps successfully fires New Generation Rocket and Turret ammunition from Rudra

The Spear corps warriors of the Indian Army successfully fired the New Generation Rocket and Turret ammunition from Rudra- The First Indigenous Attack Helicopter,...

India โ€˜Kicks Outโ€™ Turkey From Navyโ€™s Shipping Project; Cements Ties With Greece To Thwart Ankara

Source : The EurAsian Times After taking a stand in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, New Delhi has once again made it clear that in the conflict...
Visits
error: Content is protected !!