A new surveillance mission for a USAF Northrop Grumman RQ-4B (reg. 11-2046 – c/s FORTE12) concluded this morning when, around 09:00 CEST, the drone left the Black Sea to return to NAS Sigonella.
A mission like any other? Not quite.
Before orbiting south of Crimea, the drone flew extensively over the southeastern Black Sea.
It’s precisely in that area where some units of the Russian Navy are active, and it’s precisely in that area that yesterday a Russian corvette, the Vasily Bykov, approached the merchant ship Sukru Okan for inspection (after firing warning shots), bound for Izmail.
Clearly, the drone aimed to monitor the Russian units operating in an area near the territorial waters of several NATO countries (Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania).