Russian Forces Recover MQ-9 Drone ‘Shot Down’ by Su-27 from Seabed
Russia’s military prowess has been a matter of concern for the United States, especially in light of the recent incident involving a Russian Su-27 “shooting down” a US Air Force drone. On March 14th of this year, the drone, which was on a reconnaissance mission, was damaged by the Russian fighter jet and ultimately sunk into the Black Sea. Now, a new report has emerged suggesting that the Russian military has recovered the drone from the seabed, potentially giving them access to sensitive military technology.
According to the report, which has yet to be independently verified, the value of the MQ-9 reconnaissance drone is close to 56 million USD. The US military had not anticipated that the Russian Air Force would dare to challenge the MQ-9 and therefore did not anticipate the drone taking maneuvers that were above the airspace of Crimea. However, the US denies that the drone flew in the airspace over Crimea, which Russia considers to be its territory.
If Russia has indeed recovered the MQ-9 from the seabed, this could be a major problem for the US defense. The Russians will gain access to sensitive military technology, including a dome optical-electronic complex, a complex for surface electronic intelligence of the American apparatus, the wiring of microwave devices, secure satellite communications, the terminal of the data exchange system, and others. These are interesting radio electronic components that could be used for a range of military purposes.
Furthermore, Russian experts will closely familiarize themselves with the organization of communication via satellite with the control point, plus the organization of communication via GPS. This will allow them to better understand target designation shortly before and immediately after missile launch.
The MQ-9 is also capable of recording electronic data while scouting. This includes the frequencies of Russian radar stations, missile guidance stations, and radio communications, which could make Russian systems much more vulnerable than they were before the advent of drones. With the removal of the drone from the waters of the Black Sea, the Russians will find out which Russian systems were breached, allowing them to change the frequencies of the radar stations and start again.
This incident also highlights the increasingly aggressive actions of Russia towards the US. Although the US does not recognize Crimea as Russian, it is a US problem, not Russia’s. In the conditions of war and dozens of international rules violated since the beginning of the war by all parties to the conflict, including those indirectly involved in it, it no longer matters whose Crimea it is, but who guards it and who believes it is his.
As a result, the US will most likely restrict flights near the peninsula from here on out, which is already being observed as a fact. Some trackers of the routes of combat aviation show a bypass of the Crimea from afar. Russia has achieved its goal of reducing American influence by providing Ukraine with intelligence on the air and territorial integrity of the peninsula.
In light of this incident, Washington may begin to consider whether to actually hand over the Abrams tanks to Ukraine. There is no indication at this time that this will happen, but after all, Abrams is also a carrier of sensitive technology. A capture of an American tank will once again expose American developments to the eyes of the Russians.
In conclusion, the recovery of the MQ-9 drone by the Russian military from the seabed of the Black Sea could be a major concern for the US defense. If confirmed, the Russians will gain access to sensitive military technology that could be used for a range of military purposes. This incident also highlights the increasingly aggressive actions of Russia towards the US and may lead to further restrictions on flights near the peninsula. Washington may also begin to consider the risks associated with providing sensitive technology to Ukraine.