US military officials have released a declassified video that depicts the moment when a Russian fighter jet collided with a US drone over the Black Sea earlier this week.
The video was shared by the US European Command (EUCOM) on Thursday morning and was captured by the underside camera of the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
In the footage, the Su-27 fighter jet can be seen attempting to spray jet fuel on the drone twice.
On the second attempt, the jet collides with the drone’s rear propeller, and the screen pixelates as communication goes down.
The release of the video comes less than one day after Gen. Mark Miley stated that it “remains to be seen” whether the downing was intentional.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, claimed that the collision was a response to the US “deliberately and provocatively” encroaching on Moscow’s airspace.
This event is thought to be the first time since the Cold War era that an American aircraft was downed following an encounter with Russian forces.