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‘ VIDEO: U.S. Releases Footage of Russian Fighter Crashing Into Drone | National News – US News Youtube HD Video Online
The U.S. military on Thursday released footage of a Russian fighter jet harassing an American drone in international airspace over the Black Sea before colliding with it, forcing the unmanned aircraft to crash into the waterway earlier this week.
The decision to release what appears to be on-board footage from the MQ-9 Reaper drone is the latest in what has become a source of tension between Washington and the Kremlin, which first denied any such encounter took place and later suggested it was an act of self defense against American aggression near the conflict zone in Ukraine.
U.S. European Command released the following summary of the video with corresponding time stamps:
- 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.
- 00:26: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel on the approach toward the MQ-9. An Su-27 proceeds to pass even closer.
- 00:29: A Russian Su-27 collides into 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]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters Wednesday that he had spoken to his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, to whom he imparted American frustration with Russia’s “pattern of risky and aggressive behavior.”
“It’s important that great powers be models of transparency and communication,” Austin said.
Though U.S. officials have issued stern rebukes of the Russian jets’ activity, they have refrained from the kind of rhetoric that could cause the incident to escalate – a tone Austin continued on Wednesday.
The encounter took place early Tuesday local time, when two Su-24 jets intercepted the drone, known in military parlance as an “unmanned aerial vehicle” or UAV. The jets flew close to it, dumped fuel on it and eventually collided with its propeller, at which time its operator crash-landed it in the sea.
While provocative, it remains unclear whether the fighter jet planned to cause the drone to crash.
“We know the intercept was intentional, we know the aggressive behavior was intentional,” Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. “The actual contact of the Russian fighter with our UAV, the physical contact of those two – not sure yet. Remains to be seen.”
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