Russia-US drone collision: Pentagon releases video purporting to show fighter jet hitting MQ-9 drone over Black Sea


The US military released dramatic video Thursday morning showing a Russian fighter jet intercepting and then colliding with the American MQ-9 Reaper. Drone that crashed into the Black Sea on Tuesday. The US has accused Russia of operating its fighter jet in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner during the melee The Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, a senior Russian official said Moscow would try to recover the wreckage of the drone. US Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the UAV likely broke down during the crash and the remaining debris likely sank to a depth of thousands of feet in the Black Sea.

“This is US property,” Milley said at a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday. “Honestly, there probably isn’t much to recover from.”

An official told CBS News that the Russians had reached the site of the crash and would probably manage to collect some debris, such as chunks of metal, but Milley said the US took mitigating measures to prevent the loss of sensitive information.

“We’re pretty confident that anything that was of value isn’t anymore,” he told reporters.

Video released Thursday by the Pentagon (above), captured by a camera on the MQ-9, first shows a fighter jet flying by at close range before making another flyby, allegedly hitting the drone’s propeller has. The camera view is lost shortly after the apparent collision, but it comes back to show what the Air Force described as damage to the propeller from the strike.

The Russian jet “spilled fuel on the MQ-9’s propeller and hit it, resulting in US forces having to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters,” the Air Force said in a statement accompanying the video.

The video, released by the US military’s European Command, has been “edited lengthwise, but events are presented in sequential order,” the statement said.

An image taken from video released by the US military on March 16, 2023 shows what the Pentagon said, a Russian fighter jet approaching a US Air Force MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea, just before landing with the drone collided and forced it to be brought down, March 14, 2023. The image was captured by a camera on board the MQ-9, the Pentagon said.

US military handout

Speaking to reporters this week, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder declined to say whether the drone was armed, and he referred to the UAV as the MQ-9, but not by its other name, Reaper. The US uses Reaper for surveillance and attacks and has operated the planes from Europe to the Middle East and Africa.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, alongside Milley, said on Wednesday that he had spoken to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu after the Black Sea incident, but the US defense chief had not shared details of the conversation.

“The United States will continue to fly and operate wherever international law permits, and it is Russia’s responsibility to operate its military aircraft safely and professionally,” Austin told reporters.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies by November 17, 2015 during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.
An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies by November 17, 2015 during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.

Isaac Brekken/Getty

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Shoigu told Austin the collision was the result of “increased [U.S.] Intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation” and “violation of the restricted flight zone” declared by Moscow amid its ongoing war in Ukraine. The southern coast of Ukraine lies on the Black Sea, and Crimea, occupied by Russia since 2014 and claimed as its sovereign territoryprotrudes into the water.

Ukraine Russia map

Created with Datawrapper

The Russian ministry said it would respond “appropriately” to any further US “provocations” in the region, warning that “flights of American strategic unmanned aerial vehicles off the coast of Crimea are provocative in nature, creating conditions for an escalation of the situation in.” the Black Sea zone.”

“Russia has no interest in such a development of events, but will continue to respond appropriately to any provocation,” the Defense Ministry said.

CBS News’ Eleanor Watson contributed to this report.

Source link

Leave a Comment