An Instagram account claiming to be of a Russian pilot posted a video showed a dangerous pass ahead of a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flying above Syria.
The video appears to show a Russian fighter jet (probably Su-30SM) in flight turning in front of the remotely piloted aircraft.
It should be noted that MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that has turboprop engine. Russian fighter can produce “jetwash” or wake turbulence that that poses a serious risk to nearby aircraft and especially for remotely piloted aircraft.
The MQ-9 aircraft operates from standard U.S. airfields with clear line-of-sight to the ground data terminal antenna, which provides line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing. The PPSL provides over-the-horizon communications for the aircraft and sensors.
The remotely piloted aircraft can be disassembled and loaded into a single container for deployment worldwide. The entire system can be transported in the C-130 Hercules, or larger aircraft.
The primary concept of operations, remote split operations, employs a launch-and-recovery ground control station for take-off and landing operations at the forward operating location, while the crew based in continental United States executes command and control of the remainder of the mission via beyond-line-of-sight links. Remote split operations result in a smaller number of personnel deployed to a forward location, consolidate control of the different flights in one location, and as such, simplify command and control functions as well as the logistical supply challenges for the weapons system.
During the warfare in Syria, several such aircraft were lost.