Department of Defense releases video of Russian jets intercepting U.S. drone

Video Still: U.S. European Command/Gephardt Daily

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2023, (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Department of Defense has released dramatic video of a Russian fighter-jet intercepting an American military drone over the Black Sea.

The stunningly clear video was recorded March 14 when two Russian Su-27 jets made repeated passes near the unmanned reconnaissance drone as it operated in what the U.S. maintains is international airspace.

In one shot, a Russian jet can be seen dumping fuel on the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-9 drone.

In a second shot, recorded by the drone’s onboard camera, damage to one of drone’s propeller blades is plainly visible.

The U.S. made the decision to crash the damaged drone into the Black Sea.

The release of the video, which was posted on Twitter, was accompanied by the following statement:

Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a U.S. 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 U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. (U.S. Air Force video)

Russia has denied the U.S. account and says it plans on recovering the drone’s wreckage believed.

Gephardt Daily will release more information as it becomes available.

The following is a summary of the video:
00:00: [Start of video] A Russian Su-27 approaches to the rear of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9.
00:05: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel as it passes.
00:09 A Russian Su-27 passes over the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 while releasing fuel. As the Su-27 passes over the top of the MQ-9, it also disrupts the video transmission.
00:11: The propeller of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 can be seen and remains undamaged.
00:22: A Russian Su-27 begins a second approach toward the MQ-9.
00:27: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel on the approach toward the
MQ-9. The Su-27 proceeds to pass even closer.
00:29: A Russian Su-27 collides with the MQ-9 and the MQ-9’s camera feed is lost for approximately 60 seconds.
00:39: The MQ-9’s camera feed has returned to working order. At this time the propeller can be seen again and one of the props can be seen damaged.
00:42: [End of video]


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