In this file photo dated Jan 23, 2018, A US MQ-9 drone is on display during an air show at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (PHOTO / AP)
MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday that a US MQ-9 drone fell into the Black Sea due to its own sharp maneuvering.
"As a result of sharp maneuvering around 9:30 a.m. Moscow time (0630 GMT), the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle went into uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface," the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, Russian Aerospace Forces detected the MQ-9 UAV as it was approaching the state border over the Black Sea, and Russian fighter jets were scrambled to identify the intruder.
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"The Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV, and returned safely to their home airfield," it added.
It said that the US drone conducted its flight with its transponders turned off, and that it had violated "the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting the special military operation," adding that this information had already been communicated to all users of international airspace.