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U.S. discloses video showing a Russian jet fuelling a drone

The U.S. Department of Defense has released a video of a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on an American drone operating in international airspace. The incident occurred on June 6, 2020, when a Russian Su-35 fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Navy MQ-9 Reaper drone in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.

The video, taken from the drone’s point of view, shows the Russian fighter jet quickly approaching the drone, before releasing its fuel tanks, which appear to come in contact with the drone before quickly retreating away.

The U.S. Department of Defense condemned the incident, calling it an “irresponsible and dangerous maneuver” and said it was “inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense meanwhile said the Su-35 fighter jet “followed all necessary safety procedures” and that the interception was a “preventative measure” to avoid a “potential collision” with the MQ-9 Reaper drone.