US releases footage of Russian jet colliding with drone
Berlin, Mar 16 (EFE).- The United States military on Thursday released footage showing the moment a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with an American drone over the Black Sea, which resulted in the surveillance vehicle crashing into the water.
The March 14 incident marked a hike in already simmering tensions between the US and Russia.
In a statement, the US European Command said: “Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a US Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft operating within international airspace over the Black Sea on March 14, 2023.
“Russian Su-27s dumped fuel upon and struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters.”
In the video, a Russian Su-27 is seen approaching the unmanned aerial vehicle from the rear.
The aircraft performs a fuel dumping maneuver and passes over the top of the UAV.
An aircraft then performs a second approach from the same direction, conducts a fuel dumping maneuver once again and passes even closer to the UAV, this time clipping the drone, the US military said.
The drone’s camera loses its feed for 60 seconds. When it recovers, the footage shows that the Russian jet has damaged the rear propeller.
“This declassified video has been edited for length, however, the events are depicted in sequential order,” the US command noted in the release.
After the incident, the US said it was forced to ditch the drone in the Black Sea, and accused Moscow of deliberately damaging the UAV.
Russia’s defense ministry said the US drone has flown through air space near the Crimean Peninsula that has been temporarily closed off after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”
The ministry insists the Russian aircraft did not hit the US drone. EFE