The African Command of the US Armed Forces (AFRICOM) has admitted that about a year ago, an Italian drone and at least one American MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle were shot down in Libya from a Russian-made Pantsir-C1 anti-aircraft missile and cannon system (ZRPK). AFRICOM’s chief of intelligence, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, announced this on September 11, Al-Monitor writes.
Berg did not specify the area and the circumstances of the incident. She also did not give other details of the incidents.
The Military Informant Telegram channel suggested that it was an MQ-9 shot down on November 20, 2019 over the Libyan city of Tarhuna, 80 kilometers south of the country’s capital, Tripoli. Presumably, it was its fragments that were captured in the photographs that had previously appeared on the network.
In August, the US Army presented a plan to create a family of multipurpose air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles, designed, in particular, to destroy the air defense systems (air defense) of a potential enemy, in particular Pantsir-C1. It was reported that such drones will differ in small size and weight (within 100 kilograms), a speed of up to 130 kilometers per hour and a combat range of up to 350 kilometers. In some cases, drones will be able to reach speeds of up to 650 kilometers per hour, making jerks from one area to another.
In Libya, the confrontation continues between the Government of National Accord (GNA), which controls Tripoli and the territories in the west of the country and is supported by Turkey, and the Libyan National Army under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, supported by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Its unofficial allies are France and the United Arab Emirates – the latter, according to some sources, supplied the army with equipment, including equipment purchased from Russia. In addition, the African command of the US Armed Forces stated that two thousand fighters of the Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner are fighting on the side of the LNA, and Russia supplies the army with equipment, including MiG-29 fighters.