Russian Su-35 confronts American MQ-9 with unusual tactics

According to the US Air Force, a new wave of tension has erupted in Syrian airspace, with a confrontation between a Russian Su-35 and an American MQ-9 drone.

Air Showdown: Russian Su-35 and American MQ-9

On June 5, the Russian Su-35 performed several maneuvers that put the MQ-9 at risk. The engagement included moving close to the drone as well as intercepting its flight path.

Russian Su-35 confronts American MQ-9 with unusual tactics

One tactic that caused particular concern was the Su-35’s use of parachute flares deployed in the path of the drone. This method of confrontation is unusual and dangerous.

Another questionable maneuver was when one of the three Su-35s got in front of the MQ-9 and ignited its afterburner, making it difficult for the drone to operate safely.

The purpose of parachute flares in aviation

Parachute flares, used by the Su-35, are pyrotechnic devices that provide bright light visible at a distance. These flares are often used to signal an aircraft’s position, illuminate a specific area on the ground, or signal distress.

Russian Su-35 confronts American MQ-9 with unusual tactics

These devices are dropped from the plane, and a parachute is opened to slow its descent. As they fall, they burn brightly, producing a visible light source.

Precedents of air confrontations between Russia and the US

These encounters are not unprecedented. In March, a Russian Su-27 shot down an American drone, which plunged into the Black Sea. There are rumors that Russia recovered the drone, valued at $56 million, but this information has not yet been verified.

Russian Su-35 confronts American MQ-9 with unusual tactics
Su-27 Flanker

If the rumors are true, Russia can study US military technology and adjust its defense systems. The incident has led to considerations about restricting drone flights near Crimea.

The Role of the MQ-9 Reaper in the Conflict

The MQ-9 Reaper, the drone involved in the incident, is an aerial machine designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Capable of reaching altitudes of 50,000 feet and speeds of up to 300 knots, the Reaper can also perform precision strikes with its armament of Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs.

Previous incidents between Russian and US aircraft in Syria

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, there have been several incidents in which Russian and US planes have clashed in Syrian airspace. Notable incidents include the interception of US aircraft by Russian fighters and the downing of a Syrian Su-22 fighter by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet in 2017.

What happened between the Russian Su-35 and the American MQ-9 drone in Syria?

On June 5, a confrontation in Syrian airspace occurred between a Russian Su-35 and an American MQ-9 drone. The Su-35 executed several maneuvers that put the MQ-9 at risk, including flying very close to the drone and intercepting its flight path. He also used an unusual and dangerous tactic: releasing parachute flares into the drone’s path.

What are parachute flares and how were they used in the aerial confrontation between the Su-35 and the MQ-9?

Parachute flares are pyrotechnic devices that provide a bright light visible from a distance and are often used to signal the position of an aircraft, illuminate a specific area on the ground, or signal distress. In the confrontation between the Russian Su-35 and the American MQ-9 drone, the Su-35 used parachute flares, releasing them into the path of the drone, a tactic considered unusual and dangerous.

Have there been previous confrontations between Russia and the United States in the airspace?

Yes, air confrontations between Russia and the United States are not unprecedented. One notable incident occurred in March when a Russian Su-27 shot down an American drone over the Black Sea. Additionally, since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011, there have been several incidents where Russian and US planes have clashed in Syrian airspace.

What role does the MQ-9 Reaper drone play in the conflict?

The MQ-9 Reaper is a drone designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. It is capable of reaching altitudes of 50,000 feet and speeds of up to 300 knots. He can also perform precision strikes with his armament of Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs. In the incident with the Russian Su-35, the MQ-9 was in safe operation before the maneuvers were executed by the Russian aircraft.

What significant incidents have occurred between Russian and US aircraft in Syria?

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, there have been several significant incidents between Russian and US aircraft. Some of these include the interception of US aircraft by Russian fighters and the downing of a Syrian Su-22 fighter by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet in 2017. Also, more recently, a Russian Su-35 engaged in an American MQ-9 drone in a series of dangerous maneuvers.