AP

US releases video of Russian jet dumping fuel on its drone

Mar 16, 2023, 6:01 AM | Updated: 6:03 am

This photo taken from video released on Thursday, March 16, 2023, shows a Russian Su-27 approaching...

This photo taken from video released on Thursday, March 16, 2023, shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the back of the MQ-9 drone and beginning to release fuel as it passes, over the Black Sea, the Pentagon said. The Pentagon has released footage of what it says is a Russian aircraft conducting an unsafe intercept of a U.S. Air Force surveillance drone in international airspace over the Black Sea. (US Department of Defense via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(US Department of Defense via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday released footage of what it said was a Russian aircraft pouring fuel on a U.S. Air Force surveillance drone and clipping the drone’s propeller in international airspace over the Black Sea.

The 42-second video shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the back of the MQ-9 drone and beginning to release fuel as it passes, the Pentagon said. Dumping the fuel appeared to be aimed at blinding its optical instruments and driving it out of the area.

On a second approach, either the same jet or another Russian fighter that had been shadowing the MQ-9 struck the drone’s propeller, damaging one blade, according to the U.S. military.

The U.S. military said it ditched the MQ-9 Reaper in the sea after what it described as the Russian fighter making an unsafe intercept of the unmanned aerial vehicle.

The video excerpt released by the Pentagon does not show events before or after the apparent fuel-dumping confrontation.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley have spoken to their Russian counterparts about the destruction of the U.S. drone following the encounter with Russian fighter jets.

The calls with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov on Wednesday were the first since October.

While intercept attempts are not uncommon, the incident amid the war in Ukraine has raised concerns it could bring the United States and Russia closer to direct conflict.

That the two countries’ top defense and military leaders were talking so soon after the encounter over the Black Sea underscored its seriousness.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in its report of the call with Austin that Shoigu accused the U.S. of provoking the incident by ignoring flight restrictions the Kremlin had imposed because of its military operations in Ukraine.

Russia also blamed “the intensification of intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation.”

Such U.S. actions “are fraught with escalation of the situation in the Black Sea area,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, warning that Moscow “will respond in kind to all provocations.”

The MQ-9, which has a 66-foot (20-meter) wingspan, includes a ground control station and satellite equipment. It is capable of carrying munitions, but Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, would not say whether the ditched drone had been armed.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the incident occurred at 7:03 a.m. Central European time (0603 GMT; 2:03 a.m. EST) over international waters, and well clear of Ukraine, after the Russian jets had flown in the vicinity of the drone for 30 to 40 minutes.

There did not appear to be any communications between the aircraft before the collision, Ryder added.

The U.S. has not recovered the crashed drone, U.S. Air Forces-Europe said in a statement, and neither has Russia, Ryder said. Russian officials said Wednesday that they would try to salvage fragments of the MQ-9 from the Black Sea.

U.S. officials have left open the possibility of trying to recover portions of the downed $32 million drone, which they said crashed into waters that were 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 meters) deep.

Other U.S. officials said the U.S. does not have military ships in the region, and won’t likely seek to recover wreckage.

However, they expressed confidence that there would be nothing left of military value on the drone if Russia manages to retrieve the wreckage.

___

Hazell contributed from Washington.

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

Snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon...

Scott Sonner and Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press

Stretch of I-80 shut down as monster blizzard dumps snow on mountains in California and Nevada

California authorities shut down 100 miles of Interstate 80 on Friday as the biggest snow storm of the season bore down on the Sierra Nevada.

9 hours ago

FILE: Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election ...

Associated Press

Arizona’s new voting laws that require proof of citizenship are not discriminatory, a US judge rules

A U.S. district judge has ruled Arizona legislators did not discriminate when they adopted laws requiring counties to verify the status of registered voters who haven’t provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

9 hours ago

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, listens as his attorne...

Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press

Takeaways from Hunter Biden’s combative deposition with Republican lawmakers

The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden has been released. It reveals the contentious testimony that took place Wednesday as Republicans scrambled to advance an impeachment inquiry on the brink of collapse.

12 hours ago

Damage to a property burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire is seen Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Canad...

Associated Press

Gov. Abbott says Texas wildfires may have destroyed up to 500 structures

Wildfires have destroyed as many as 500 structures in the Texas Panhandle, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, describing how the largest blaze in state history scorched everything in its path, leaving ashes in its wake.

14 hours ago

Palestinians walk through the destruction from the Israeli offensive in Jabaliya refugee camp in th...

Zeke Miller, Aamer Madhani and Matthew Lee

Biden approves military airdrops of aid into Gaza after chaotic encounter left more than 100 dead

President Joe Biden says that the U.S. will begin air-dropping humanitarian assistance into Gaza, a day after more than 100 of Palestinians were killed during a chaotic encounter with Israeli troops.

16 hours ago

FILE - This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, and partially...

Eric Tucker, Adriana Gomez Licon and Freida Frisaro

Judge in Trump’s classified documents case is expected to set a trial date during a crucial hearing

The federal judge overseeing the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump is expected to set a trial date.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

US releases video of Russian jet dumping fuel on its drone