Pentagon Posts Footage Of Us Drone Colliding With Russian Planes- The Pentagon’s European Command declassified video footage of the moments before a Russian fighter jet collided with an unarmed US reconnaissance drone on Tuesday, forcing the American aircraft to crash-land into the Black Sea, which was made public on Thursday.
The stunning 42-second color video clip features two close approaches by two Su-27 fighter jets, which spray the MQ-9 Reaper drone with what the Defense Department claims to be jet fuel. Two Russian jets were reportedly involved in the incident, according to the Pentagon, and a senior military officer claimed on Thursday that the video only showed one pass from each fighter.
The drone gets struck by a Russian plane during a final pass, according to the Military, and the camera feed is lost for roughly 60 seconds. The crash is not visible in the film that was made public. When the footage resumes, it reveals the damaged propeller of the aircraft, which the Military claims was hit by the Russian jet.
The videotape, which showed the first documented physical interaction between the Russian and American military since the start of the war in Ukraine last year, according to Defense Department officials, gave visual proof to bolster the American account of the incident.
Russian ships were stationed in a way that suggested they were looking for the drone, according to the Ukrainian military’s account of unusual Russian naval activities in the Black Sea on Thursday. Moscow may use any successful salvage for propaganda purposes, but Dmitry S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, stated that Russia’s military would only raise the drone if it was absolutely necessary for security.
The Pentagon stated a few hours after the video’s release that it was unlikely Moscow would be able to recover any useful information.
The drone debris was referred to as “U.S. property” by Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, during a news conference on Thursday. But he added that any Russian recovery efforts would be challenging, despite Moscow’s possible attempts to reach the wreckage. Top officials estimated that the wreckage was between 4,000 and 5,000 feet under the ocean.
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General Ryder stated, “Again, our view is that it is extremely highly unlikely that even if they were to recover it, there would be nothing valuable.
In blaming Moscow for the downing of the drone, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Wednesday referred to “dangerous, reckless, and unprofessional action” on the part of Russia. Russia first claimed that the American drone operators’ poor maneuvering was to blame for the disaster, but has since denied any wrongdoing.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has effectively turned the Black Sea into a battleground. Although Ukraine has been permitted to ship its grain over the sea thanks to a pact made between the two warring nations in July, Russia has blockaded Ukrainian vessels within their own ports.
According to the United States and Ukraine, the US drone was conducting regular surveillance and reconnaissance operation while operating in international airspace. The threat presented by Russian warships and submarines in the Black Sea is a particular concern for US and Ukrainian authorities, who have stated that they exchange intelligence obtained by such missions.
The videotape that was made public on Thursday only shows a small portion of what Pentagon officials said took place roughly 40 minutes before the collision. Two Russian Su-27 fighter fighters conducted 19 close passes over the Reaper during that time as it was circling at 25,000 feet, dropping fuel on it in the last three or four, according to a senior U.S. military official on Wednesday.
The Pentagon releases video of a U.S. drone’s encounter with Russian jets.
— Korina Graf (@GrafKorina) March 16, 2023
According to the official, the accident occurred as one of the Russian aircraft approached the drone quickly from behind, striking the MQ-9’s back propeller.
The drone’s controllers finally managed to bring the damaged aircraft down in the water some 75 miles southwest of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, which Russia has exploited as a base for catastrophic airstrikes.
The U.S. Air Force utilized the MQ-1 Predator drone until 2018. The MQ-9 Reaper is a bigger variant of the drone. The Air Force, which has paid as much as $32 million for one of them, claims that the Reapers are faster and can carry more ammunition.