US Military Releases Video Of Russian Jet Intentionally Colliding With Drone
The US military has released footage, showing critical moments of this week’s encounter between a US surveillance drone and a Russian fighter jet as it played out over the Black Sea.
The newly declassified footage, which the Pentagon said lasted 30-40 minutes, shows the camera of the MQ-9 Reaper drone pointed backward toward its tail and the drone’s propeller, which is mounted on the rear, spinning. Then, a Russian Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jet is shown approaching. As it draws closer, the Russian fighter dumps fuel as it intercepts the US drone. In another portion of the video, the Russian jet makes another pass. As it approaches, it again dumps fuel.
The video from the drone is then disrupted as the Russian fighter jet collides with the MQ-9 Reaper, damaging the propeller and ultimately forcing the US to bring down the drone in the Black Sea. Russia has denied that a collision occurred.
When the camera comes back online in the footage, the view is again pointed backward, and the propeller is shown damaged from the collision.
With the propeller damaged, the drone operators effectively flew the aircraft as a glider as it descended over the Black Sea, bringing it down in international waters southwest of Crimea.
On its way down, the military said the operators remotely wiped the drone’s sensitive software, mitigating the risk of secret materials falling into enemy hands before it crashed into the water.
National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby said Wednesday that he was “not sure” the US would be able to recover it.
Meanwhile, Russia declared it would attempt to retrieve the wreckage of the MQ-9 drone. But Pentagon officials said the US had “made it impossible for them to be able to glean anything of intelligence value off the remnants of that drone, whatever remnants there might be on the surface of the water.”
Watch the video of the incident below.
BREAKING: U.S. military releases dramatic declassified video taken by MQ-9 Reaper drone that shows the moment that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with it after attempting to spray the drone with jet fuel. https://t.co/XGoVQN7ppJ pic.twitter.com/X9vH6qtFGf
— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2023
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