USAF releases footage of Russian Su-27 colliding with MQ-9 Reaper drone

The United States Air Force released footage recorded by the MQ-9 Reaper drone that was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 fighters and eventually brought down by one of them. 


On March 14, 2023, a patrol of two Russian Su-27 Flankers intercepted a USAF MQ-9 Reaper drone conducting an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission within international airspace over the Black Sea.  

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The footage confirms the events previously reported by the US European Command. One of the Su-27 aircraft can be seen performing a close pass near the drone, dumping fuel on it. Another pass results in a collision, damaging the UAV’s propeller. The Reaper eventually crashed into international waters. 

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The USAF also provided a summary of the events seen in the video:

00:00: [Start of video] A Russian Su-27 approaches the rear of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9.

00:05: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel as it passes.

00:09: A Russian Su-27 passes over the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 while releasing fuel. As the Su-27 passes over the top of the MQ-9, it also disrupts the video transmission.

00:11: The propeller of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 can be seen and remains undamaged.

00:22: A Russian Su-27 begins a second approach toward the MQ-9.

00:27: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel on the approach toward the

MQ-9. The Su-27 proceeds to pass even closer.

00:29: A Russian Su-27 collides with the MQ-9 and the MQ-9’s camera feed is lost for approximately 60 seconds.

00:39: The MQ-9’s camera feed has returned to working order. At this time the propeller can be seen again and one of the props can be seen damaged.

00:42: [End of video]

Contradicting the version of the US European Command, the Russian Ministry of Defense previously stated that the fighters did not come into contact with the MQ-9 drone. 

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Source: Aero Time

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