The Russian military will conduct a surveillance flight over Turkey sometime between Nov. 25 and 29 under the Treaty on Open Skies, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has announced.
According to Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the ministry's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, an An-30B aircraft crewed by a team of specialists will carry out a surveillance flight over Turkish airspace in the period mentioned.
Turkish military officials will also be on board the aircraft to observe the flight, as per the Treaty on Open Skies.
Russian Ilyushin Il-20 intelligence aircraft garnered attention by flying parallel to Turkey's Black Sea coast a number of times in the last few weeks, according to the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) website. Each time, Turkish F-16 fighter jets scrambled to intercept the Russian aircraft.
According to government sources, Russia informed Turkey about the mission and Russia's request was approved by Turkey.
The source said that Russia's 17-member aircrew will conduct a surveillance flight along the planned route, which both parties agreed on.
The 34 countries that signed the treaty allow surveillance flights over each other's territories. Russia ratified the treaty in 2001. The flight over Turkish airspace will mark Russia's 39th observation mission in Treaty on Open Skies member states in 2013.
Ryzhkov added that French Lockheed C-130H aircraft will conduct surveillance flights over Russia and Belarus between Nov. 25 and 29. The French flights will be observed by Russian and Belarusian specialists.
Coming into force in January 2002, the Treaty on Open Skies allows unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire airspace of its participant states to boost cooperation, openness and transparency among military forces. Each state's planes flying under the treaty are equipped with optical radar sensors to gather imagery that can be shared among all member states.
Last Mod: 26 Kasım 2013, 11:22