The sequence of forty-two seconds shows a Russian Sukhoï-27 passing twice above the drone. After the second passage, we can see that a blade of the propeller is damaged.
The world with AFP
The American army broadcast, Thursday, March 16, images of the interception above the black sea of its drone by the Russian army, showing a hunter spraying fuel the aircraft, which Then sees with a damaged propeller blade.
The video sequence, online on the site of the Command of the American Armed Forces in Europe , lasts forty-two seconds and shows a Russian sukhoï-27 (su-27) passing twice just above the drone, after having approached it from the rear. Reaper MQ-9 then damaged in international waters. Moscow admits the interception of the aircraft by his fighter planes but denies any contact having led to the accident.
During the first visit, no shock is visible and nothing seems to have caused the fall of the drone. The “disrupts video transmission”, comments on the American command in Europe, noting the fact that the propeller of the drone “can be seen and remains intact”. During the second pass, the device passes even closer to the drone. The transmission of images is then interrupted for sixty seconds. When it resumes, “the propeller can be seen again and we can see that one of the blades is damaged”, notes the US Air Force.
The “maneuver is frankly limited,” said a fighter pilot of a European army questioned by the France-Presse agency, stressing that, according to the rules usually in force, an interception in the sky by a plane of fight is made “in parallel” of the aircraft and never at such a reduced distance.
Tuesday, General James Hecker, commander of the US Air Force in Europe, had announced that a Reaper MQ-9 carrying out “routine operations in international airspace” had been intercepted by hunters su- 27 Then “struck by a Russian plane, causing the crash and the loss” of the drone.
This is the first time since the start of the Russian invasion against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, that a NATO country recognizes the loss of equipment used by its own forces in the region . In Moscow, it is said to want to recover the drone to prove the involvement of the United States in operations in Ukraine. Sergei Choïgou, Minister of Defense, put the accident on Wednesday on the account of the “strengthening” of American spy operations.
The American administration ensures that measures had been taken to protect from possible sensitive data. “We are convinced that what had no value no longer,” said General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the American army.