Russian experts make observation flight over US territory

A group of Russian inspectors is making an observation flight over the US territory on board of a Tu-214ON aircraft under the International Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian experts make observation flight over US territory Russian Air Force Tu-214ON in flight (Picture source: Dmitry Zherdin)

"The observation flight will take place on April 22-27. It has started from Rosecrans Open Skies airfield. The maximum range of flight is close to 4,800 km," the ministry said.

The Russian surveillance jet is flying on a route approved by the party observed, and the U.S. experts onboard are controlling the use of surveillance equipment and the observance of the provisions of the Open Skies Treaty. Observation flights contribute to making the military activities of countries signatories to the Open Skies Treaty more open and transparent.

The Tu-214ON aircraft is designed to make observation flights under the Open Skies Treaty within the operational limits of the Tu-214 serial aircraft. The maximum Tu-214 takeoff weight is 110.7 tons; the length is 46.1 meters. The cruising speed is 830-850 km/h.

Practical flight range is 6,500 km. The aircraft is fitted out with three digital photo cameras and infrared equipment, which enables the aircraft to exercise control at low altitudes in any weather. Tu-214 has two turbofan engines PS-90A each with a takeoff thrust of 16,000kgf.

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