Pentagon video shows Russian jet dumping fuel on US drone

The Pentagon released video of a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a U.S. Air Force surveillance drone before it clipped the drone's propeller in international airspace. The drone crashed into the Black Sea.


World News

March 16, 2023 - 3:27 PM

The US military's European Command has released footage of the Tuesday encounter between a US surveillance drone and a Russian fighter jet as it played out over the Black Sea. The newly declassified video depicts critical moments in the mid-air encounter, which the Pentagon said lasted 30-40 minutes. The video 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. Russia has denied that a collision occurred. (Courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense/Abaca via ZUMA Press/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a U.S. Air Force surveillance drone before the warplane clipped the drone’s propeller in international airspace, leading to its crash in the Black Sea and raising tensions between Moscow and Washington over the war in Ukraine.

Poland, meanwhile, said it’s giving Ukraine a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the first NATO member to fulfill Kyiv’s increasingly urgent requests for warplanes.

The U.S. military’s declassified 42-second color footage shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the back of the MQ-9 Reaper drone and releasing fuel as it passes, the Pentagon said. Dumping the fuel appeared to be aimed at blinding the drone’s optical instruments to drive it from the area.

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