Here’s The MQ-9 Video Of The Russian Su-27 Intercept Over The Black Sea


Su-27 intercept
A screenshot from the DoD video.

The Pentagon released the MQ-9 video showing the Su-27 Flanker making one pass dumping fuel and another pass leading to the collision.

As already reported on Mar. 14, 2023, a Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet and a US MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft were involved in an inflight collision over the Black Sea earlier. The mid-air collision damaged the American unmanned aircraft and the U.S. Air Force was forced to ditch in international waters.

“At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” said the U.S. European Command in a public statement.

Eventually, the video of the intercept was released by the U.S. DoD.

It’s just a 42-second clip, that basically shows a Su-27 approaching the MQ-9 from astern and beginning to dump fuel. At about 00:09 mark, the Flanker flies over the MQ-9 still dumping fuel. The live video transmission is disrupted but the MQ-9 later appears to remain undamaged. Later you can see a Russian Su-27 on a second approach towards the MQ-9. Again, the Flanker dumps fuel but the pass is closer and at 00:29 the camera feed is lost as the two aircraft seem to collide. When the feed is restored, we can get a view at the propellers of the Reaper and one appears to be bent.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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