The video of the incident that took place on Tuesday in the skies above the Black Sea in which an American Reaper drone and a Russian Sukhoi SU-27 jet “collided” is finally public , causing a diplomatic escalation between the two powers, engaged on opposite sides in the war in Ukraine where Washington has been supporting Kiev economically and militarily for 13 months in the face of aggression from the Kremlin.
The European Command of the US Armed Forces released the approximately 40-second video: “ Two Russian SU-27s conducted an unsafe and unprofessional interception without intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance against an unmanned MQ-9 operating in space international plane over the Black Sea on March 14 “, writes the US Command in releasing the film, a short video in which you can see the critical moments of the meeting in mid-air, which according to the Pentagon lasted 30-40 minutes.
The MQ-9 Reaper drone, according to reports from Washington, had left unmanned from a base in Romania for a reconnaissance flight of about 10 hours, interrupted by the accident with the Russian jet. The Pentagon, while reiterating that it was an “accident”, also underlined that the Russian SU-27 jet hit the American drone with an ” irresponsible maneuver “.
To date, Moscow has ruled out any direct contact with the US drone: the Kremlin’s version is that the plane had approached for a necessary reconnaissance and that the drone had crashed after performing a sudden maneuver .
In the video released by the US Armed Forces European Command, the on-board camera captures the drone’s tail and propeller, which are mounted at the rear. A SU-27 then arrives behind it which, when it has almost reached it, begins a fuel release procedure which it repeats twice, the second time at an even shorter distance. In this last manoeuvre, the jet hits the drone, the camera loses signal for about a minute, after which it resumes, framing the damaged propeller.
Once hit, the reconnaissance drone begins a controlled descent towards the Black Sea, crashing into international waters southwest of Crimea. Russia has already announced that it intends to attempt the recovery of the drone , while the United States, while admitting that it may never be recovered, has already deleted the sensitive files from the drone’s software, in order to prevent military secrets from falling into their hands. Russian.