The U.S. European Command has released the video of its MQ-9 Reaper drone lost over the Black Sea. It is clearly possible to see that one of the Russian Su-27s collided with the rear of the drone. This video contradicts the version put forward by the Russians in their communiqué.
On March 16, the U.S. Forces Europe Command released declassified video (available below) of the MQ-9 Reaper drone lost on March 14 over the Black Sea (article on the subject). The first part of the video shows a Russian Su-27 fighter jet approaching quickly and at a very close range to the rear of the US MQ-9 Reaper drone before flying away, but not without grazing the drone. It is also possible to see that the Reaper's propeller is intact and that the Su-27 is making a fuel dump as it approaches.
The second part (00:20+) sees the drone in a slight right turn and an approaching Su-27, also dumping fuel, but at a lower altitude than the previous pass. As the aircraft approaches the drone, it collides with the rear of the Reaper. This collision is confirmed by the third part of the video: around 00:38, it is possible to see that the blades are damaged.
Following an overload on the US servers, the video is also available in the tweet below.
The Russian version undermined
The available images thus contradict the Russian version, claiming that there had been no contact between the aircraft and that the American drone was performing uncontrolled maneuvers. On the other hand, it is also clear and unmistakable that the Russian fighter jets were, once again, performing dangerous maneuvers and at very close range of another aircraft flying over international airspace.
Article modified on March 16, 2023 at 12:55 pm.
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