US European Command has released dramatic footage of Tuesday’s encounter between a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone and pair of Russian fighter jets that forced the unmanned aircraft to crash into the Black Sea.
Watch the video below:
According to the U.S. European Command, the collision led to the “complete loss” of the drone, and followed a “pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and Allied aircraft over international airspace.”
“This hazardous episode is a part is part of a pattern of aggressive, risky, risky and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“I just got off the phone with my Russian counterpart, Minister Shoigu. As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s important that great powers be models of transparency and communication. And the United States will continue to fly and to operate wherever international law allows. And it is incumbent upon Russia to operate as military aircraft in a safe and professional manner,” he added.