Eyes in the Sky: Russian Aircraft to Monitor US Military From Above

Ту-154М Лк-1


Russian inspectors will conduct an observation flight over the United States between November 30 and December 5 under the Treaty on Open Skies, according to the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center.

The Tu-154M-LK-1, a Russian surveillance plane, will carry out an observation flight over the United States between November 30 and December 5 in accordance with the Treaty on Open Skies, RIA Novosti quoted Sergey Ryzhkov, the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, as saying.

“An observation flight will be conducted from November 30 to December 5 from Travis Air Force Base in California. The maximum range of the flight will stand at 4,250 kilometers,” Ryzhkov said.

In the course of the mission, US specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of agreed observation equipment.

This will be Russia’s 39th observation flight over territory held by a signatory of the Treaty on Open Skies in 2015.

The treaty establishes an unarmed aerial surveillance program whereby signatory states may conduct flights over the entire territory of fellow participants.The document was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures established in Europe after the Cold War.
It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties, including Russia and most NATO countries.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001. The document allows its participants to openly gather information on each other’s military forces and activities.


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