Izvestia, September 13, 2016, pp. 1, 4
The US air force (USAF) changed the procedure of flights above the Baltic Region. Now American airplanes fly above the Baltic Sea with switched on transponders that allow identification of aircraft.
US AIR FORCE SUPPORTED THE INITIATIVE OF RUSSIA FOR REDUCTION OF RISK OF AIR INCIDENTS IN THE BALTIC SEA
The US air force (USAF) changed the procedure of flights above the Baltic Region. Now American airplanes fly above the Baltic Sea with switched on transponders that allow identification of aircraft. USAF press service reported this.
According to a representative of USAF, American military do their best to prevent incidents in the international airspace. Earlier, the Defense Ministry of Russia proposed performance of all flights only with switched on transponders for relieving of tension in the area of the Baltic Sea.
The Russian permanent representative office at NATO could not comment on the situation.
It was mandatory and permanent switching on of transponders that was the grounds of the initiative proposed by Russia in August of 2016 for reduction of risk of air incidents in the Baltic Sea that was sent to NATO countries, as well as to Sweden and Finland. Now Brussels and Scandinavian capitals are studying this initiative and promise to provide a response during the next meeting of Russia-NATO council.
So far, reconnaissance airplanes RC-135 remain the main source of problems in the Baltic Sea. Since April of 2016, they approached the borders of Kaliningrad Region more than 40 times. Along with this, they acted secretly, which forced the Airspace Forces to lift interceptors into the air and interceptors drove the excessively curious observers off by active maneuvering. Similar incidents happened near the borders of Kamchatka and above the Black Sea.
Igor Sadofyev, deputy commander of the Air Force for aviation between 2007 and 2011, reported that releasing official peaceful statements Americans are a little insincere.
The general said:
– Their reconnaissance airplanes often take off their bases with switched on transponders and fly for some time in accordance with ICAO norms but when they start fulfillment of reconnaissance functions they do not switch on the transponders. The more difficult the political situation, the more frequent are such cases. For instance, political situation grew worse now. We fly along our borders and Americans operate thousands kilometers away from their territory and permanently provoke aggravations.
The expert reminds that besides the international airspace there is also airspace of NATO countries that border Russia.
– Americans and their NATO allies use the airspace of the Baltic republics. Flying above the territories of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia they definitely fulfill reconnaissance tasks too.
Last week, American reconnaissance airplanes P-8A Poseidon with switched off transponders tried to approach the borders in the area of Caucasus-2016 exercises but we met by fighters. According to representatives of Pentagon, one of the Russian interceptors approached the American airplane at a distance of about 3 meters.
Head of the press service of the Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov reported:
– Fighters Su-27 being on duty were lifted from Belbek air base. After approach of the Russian fighter the crew of American P-8A Poseidon changed the course and flew to the side opposite to the state border.