NATO has been urged to respond after a Russian fighter jet slammed into a US drone. Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood – Chair of the Defence Select Committee – described the incident as a “blatant attack over international airspace”.
Asked if NATO needs to take action to prevent escalation, the MP for Bournemouth East said it “should not pass without consequences.”
Dramatic footage of the crash, which occurred between a Russian fighter jet and a US surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, was released by the US military’s European Command. The video was recently declassified.
The two aircraft collided over the black sea on Tuesday, with the Russian jet striking the propeller of the US drone.
US forces subsequently brought down the Russian fighter jet.
In a statement, the US European Command said that two Russian Su-27 fighter jets “conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of a U.S. MQ-9 drone that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea.
The camera on the drone shows its tail and rear-mounted propeller spinning before the approaching Russian Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jet dumps fuel as it intercepts the US drone.
Mr Ellwood told the Daily Express the “incredible” incident is a reflection of how one local incident can “escalate tensions and trigger a wider conflict”.
He added: “This incident illustrates how drone warfare is altering the character of conflict. Russia would not have dumped fuel if the plane had been manned.
“But this was a blatant attack over international airspace and should not pass without consequences.”
The drone has not yet been retrieved, and it is uncertain whether it will be recovered.