Russia to Hold Observation Flight Over US Under Open Skies Treaty

Tupolev Tu-154M-LK1 'RA-85655'  This aircraft has a combined ability as a Zero-Gravity trainer for the Russian Space Centre and as an Open-Skies aircraft.

 

Russian military experts will fly over the territory of the United States under the Treaty on Open Skies on December 12-17, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov has announced.

   He added that a Russian TU-154 LK-1 plane will follow the route agreed with the observed side, and US experts on board will control the order of application of sensors and compliance with the provisions stipulated in the treaty.

“An observation flight over the United States will be carried out on December 12 —17, with takeoff from the Open Skies airfield Travis (CA). The maximum range of the flight will be 4,250 kilometers [2640 miles],” Ryzhkov said.

This will be the 39th observation flight of Russian experts in 2015.

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

It was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 members, including Russia and the majority of the NATO countries.

The treaty allows its participants to openly gather information on each other’s military forces and activities.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.

 

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