Mar 16, 2023 - World

U.S. releases footage of Russian jet intercepting drone

The Pentagon released declassified footage Thursday that it says shows a Russian jet conducting "an unsafe and unprofessional intercept" with a U.S. drone over the Black Sea earlier this week.

Driving the news: The 42-second video shows a Russian Su-27 jet approaching the MQ-9 Reaper drone and releasing fuel as it neared the U.S. aircraft on Tuesday.

  • A jet is then seen approaching the drone for the second time and colliding with it before the feed cuts out.
  • The footage appears to show damage to the drone's propeller.

The big picture: The collision led to the "complete loss" of the drone, the U.S. European Command said

  • The incident followed a "pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and Allied aircraft over international airspace," it added.

A top Russian official on Wednesday said that Russia would attempt to recover the remains of the drone.

  • But Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley noted at a press conference that the remains had likely broken apart and sunk, adding that had been taken measures to prevent the loss of sensitive intelligence.
  • "There's probably not much to recover, frankly," he added.
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