Dramatic video released by the U.S. military shows a Russian fighter jet downing an American surveillance drone over the Black Sea – despite Russia denying responsibility.
The footage, declassified by U.S. European Command, shows the rear propeller of the MQ-9 Reaper drone encountering the fast-approaching Russian Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jet in international airspace on March 14. As the Russian jet got alarmingly close, it showered the drone with fuel.
The jet then circled back for another pass and dumped even more fuel on the drone before a final fly-by saw it collide with the drone and damage the drone’s propeller. The incident – which lasted close to 40 minutes but was edited down in the video – forced the U.S. to bring down the drone in the Black Sea, and it has still not been retrieved.
Russian officials have reportedly denied the crash happened.