Turkey shot down a Russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance aircraft over Turkish airspace on Friday, according to senior US and Turkey defense officials. The UAV received three warnings to leave Turkish airspace prior to being fired upon by an F-16 fighter jet.
“Today, an aerial vehicle of unknown nationality was detected inside our airspace on the Syrian border, and when it continued its movement despite being warned three times, our aircraft on patrol mission on the border fired and shot down the vehicle within the rules of engagement,” said the Turkish military, “The Turkish Armed Forces is executing its tasks with determination within the rules of engagement.”
Russia denied ownership of the drone but Washington dismissed this denial upon reviewing evidence disclosed by the Turkey Government.
“I state with absolute responsibility that all our drones are either performing tasks or staying at the base,” said a General in the Russian military.
The Orlan-10 is an unmanned aerial vehicle reported to have been produced for the Russian government at the Special Technological Centre of Saint Petersburg. This model UAV was reported to have been shot down in Ukraine last year.
The lack of damage may imply that great care was taken in preserving the unmanned aerial vehicle. In theory, this could have possibly been achieved by using a powerful radar spike or other less-destructive measure in order to identify the source and possibly reverse engineer some of the aircraft’s most secretive technology.Last weekend there were unconfirmed reports that Turkey had shot down a Russian fighter jet. Unlike today’s event, officials had refused to comment on those particular allegations.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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