Crimea: Pentagon continues reconnaissance flights

Despite the Russian Ministry of Defence’s warning to the Pentagon against espionage operations near Russian airspace, several American aircraft have carried out reconnaissance flights near the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.

A Boeing RC-135V, an RQ-4B Global Hawk and a P-8A, the three American reconnaissance aircraft flew, on Monday, January 28, along Russian airspace, according to data relayed on the Twitter account of the Plane Radar aviation service.

Starting from Mildenhall Air Force Base in the United Kingdom, the US Air Force’s strategic reconnaissance aircraft, a Boeing RC-135V, flew for about three hours in Polish airspace near Russia’s westernmost region, the Kaliningrad enclave.

Having left the Sigonella base on the Italian island of Sicily, the RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned strategic aircraft patrolled the Baltic Sea at the same time, along the border between the Pskov and Leningrad regions, still in the west of the country.

At the same time, the US Navy’s Poseidon P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft, which was flying over the Baltic Sea near the Kaliningrad maritime border, was intercepted, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, by a Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft.

In addition, the flight of the US Navy’s EP-3E Aries II long-range electronic radio reconnaissance aircraft was sighted on Monday, January 28 near the Crimea. The American naval reconnaissance aircraft left Souda Air Force Base on the Greek island of Crete and patrolled for several hours off the southwest and south coasts of the Crimean Peninsula. The aircraft approached the Sevastopol area, 37 km from the Crimean coast.

US aircraft reconnaissance flights are not limited to Russian borders. Another American anti-submarine patrol aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, conducted a reconnaissance flight off the Syrian coast near the Russian air base at Hmeimim and the Russian Navy logistics base in the port of Tartous.

Recently, reconnaissance flights by Western spy planes near Russian airspace have increased considerably. Moscow reports that last year it intercepted 3,000 combat aircraft and more than 1,000 reconnaissance aircraft.

The Russian Defence has called on the Pentagon to stop patrolling operations near Russian borders, but reconnaissance flights continue there.


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