The US Air Force has released footage showing the exact moment the pilot of a Russia Su-27 fighter jet intercepting the American drone which is flying in international airspace over the Black Sea.
Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew close to the US Reaper MQ-9 drone, one of which can be easily seen turning to deliberately target the American aircraft.
The pilot of the Su-27 shows the manoeuvre to attempt to “wash the fuel into the drone’s engine and therefore take it out”, said retired air vice-marshal Sean Bell, told Sky News.
American officials accused the Russian pilots of flying in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner” over international airspace.
Bell added, “As he pulls the aircraft up, he hasn’t got the aerodynamics because he’s isn’t flying very fast… [the plane] gets very close to the body of the drone and almost certainly just clips the propeller.”
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He added that the pilot was “incompetent” and then claims the mid-air collision is most likely an accident as it also puts the Russian jet in immediate danger.
The Ministry of Defence said it was a “routine” NATO mission over international airspace.
The Russian ambassador to the US has said that there is a “cause for concern” following the drone crash over the Black Sea on Tuesday following the American crashing into the Black Sea.
Official footage released by the U.S. Air Force of the collision between a Russian Su-27 and US MQ-9 over the Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/kZaYUyXzVm
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) March 16, 2023
Speaking to state media agency TASS, Antonov warned, “We view this incident as a provocation.”
He added, “We don’t want any confrontation between the US and the Russian Federation. We are in favour of pragmatic relations for the interest of the people of the US and Russian Federation.
“We have exchanged our remarks on the issue because we have some differences on what has happened today.”
With #Russia right now in the process of stealing the American MQ-9 Reaper drone they downed in the Black Sea, would be perfect timing to supply #Ukraine with longer range missiles to destroy the Russian ships. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/5SKWxOW1F9
— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) March 16, 2023
General David Berger, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, said Tuesday that incidents like the drone crashing in the Black Sea is his “biggest worry.”
Speaking at a National Press Club Event in Washington, D.C. General Berger said, “This is probably my biggest worry, both there and in the Pacific…an aggressive Russia or China pilot or vessel captain or something gets too close, doesn’t realise where they are, causes a collision.”
"US aircrafts shouldn’t be flying near the Russian border, imagine Washington’s reaction if a foreign military aircraft appeared near New York or San Francisco"
– Russian Ambassador to US Anatoly Antonov on American drone that crashed in Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/2XWnLvse6K
— Richard (@ricwe123) March 16, 2023
He added, “And it’s two in the morning and we’re trying to unpack this as fast as we can. I really worry about that.”
Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, said, “This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” but he would no comment if the Reaper drone was armed.
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