Pentagon releases video from Russian fighter jet crash with drone

Photo: Department of Defense / Screen Shot (Fair Use)

The US military has made public footage that shows part of the encounter between two Russian fighter pilots and a US drone on Tuesday, which resulted in the drone being forced to land.

A video that was recently declassified and released early on Thursday by US European Command shows crucial moments from the midair incident that led to the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 drone being forced to land.

The video, captured by a camera mounted on the MQ-9 Reaper drone, focuses on the drone’s tail and active propeller. At the start of the footage, a Russian Su-27 approaches from behind and begins to release fuel as it passes by the unmanned aircraft, the Washington Examiner reported.

The feed is briefly disrupted as the fighter jet flies over the drone while still releasing fuel. Upon the video’s resumption seconds later, the propeller can be seen and seems to be unharmed.

During a second approach, the Russian jet once again released fuel as it approached the drone. However, this time the video feed was disrupted for 60 seconds following impact, according to EUCOM. When the camera feed resumed, it showed that the propeller was damaged.

After the incident, the military had to perform a crash-landing of the drone into the Black Sea. However, before the drone was downed, it was wiped of sensitive data to prevent it from being accessed by unauthorized parties. The military is now working to recover the drone.

Written by staff