Downing of the drone
Moment Russian jet dumped fuel on US spy aircraft
RemaRkable footage of the moment a Russian fighter jet swooped to down a Reaper drone has been released by the US air Force.
In a highly skilled manoeuvre, the SU-27’s pilot steered the jet to within a few feet of the unmanned surveillance aircraft while releasing a stream of aviation fuel.
The daring move disabled a camera aboard the drone, which cut out shortly after the ‘danger close’ pass by the Russian jet.
according to the US, the Reaper’s propeller was also damaged, causing it to crash. Russia has denied its jet made physical contact with the drone, which sank in the black Sea.
The dramatic footage emerged yesterday as Western allies considered their response to Russia’s dramatic escalation of the conflict. The Daily mail has learned that Western drones – which gather battlefield intelligence vital to Ukrainian military commanders – may be accompanied by fighter jets, to prevent Russians targeting them.
last night, unofficial Russian sources suggested the Reaper had been recovered by an underwater robot near the shoreline of the Crimean Peninsula.
last night, the Pentagon said the Reaper drone was harassed by two Russian SU-27s between 50 and 60 nautical miles off Ukraine’s southern coast and it crashed 75 to 85 nautical miles from the nearest landfall.
Throughout the incident, the Reaper was operating inside international airspace, it said.
Tory mP Tobias ellwood, chairman of the Commons defence committee, said: ‘This incident illustrates how drone warfare is altering the character of the conflict. This was a blatant attack over international airspace and should not pass without consequences.’
It comes as Poland confirmed it will provide Ukraine with four miG-29 fighter jets.