US Releases Video of Jet Dumping Fuel on Drone

Video of Black Sea encounter also shows drone's damaged propeller
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2023 9:09 AM CDT

The US military has released declassified video that backs up its account of an encounter over the Black Sea that caused the loss of an MQ-9 Reaper drone. The video, taken by a camera on the drone's underside, shows a Russian Su-27 jet releasing fuel in an apparent attempt to blind the drone's instrument, the AP reports. The image pixelates into color bars after that jet or the other one shadowing the drone collides with its propeller on a second fuel-dumping pass, reports ABC. The final seconds of the video show the damaged propeller.

The 42-second video, which the military says was edited for length, does not show events leading up to the confrontation. Russia has denied that one of its jets hit the drone, claiming that it went down after making a sharp maneuver, reports the AP. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the harassment of the drone was clearly intentional but it's unclear whether the Russian jet intended to collide with the Reaper in a move that could also have damaged the Russian aircraft, reports Reuters. Russia says it is working to retrieve the damaged drone, which went down in waters up to 5,000 feet deep. (More drones stories.)

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