KALINGRAD – The Plane Radar page on Twitter showed the presence of a German maritime surveillance aircraft Lockheed P-3C CUP Orion near the maritime border of the region of Kaliningrad, a western Russian enclave.
According to the page, the plane reached 32 kilometers off the coast of Kaliningrad before changing course.
The reason for this flight is not yet clear and neither Germany nor Russia commented on the episode.
Flights from NATO reconnaissance aircraft near the borders of Russia and foreign military bases have become common since relations between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia were strained in 2014. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported having detected and tracked more than 1,000 reconnaissance aircraft during 2018.
Recently, a US Air Force Global Hawk RQ-4B-40 was spotted by aviation enthusiasts flying over the western border of Russia and near the Kaliningrad region on May 15. The same American aircraft was also detected flying along the Crimean coast on May 7.
Патрульный самолёт Lockheed P-3C CUP Orion, ВМС Германии??, бортовой номер 60+07, позывной GNY4500, выполняет патрулирование в районе полётной информации #FIR Калининградской?? области. pic.twitter.com/ebr2sHxMNU
— PlaneRadar (@ua4wiy_) May 24, 2019
Lately, foreign reconnaissance drones and aircraft have been flying over the Baltic Sea in the Crimea and Krasnodar regions and near the Russian military base in Syria. The reconnaissance activity was also noted on the border between Ukraine and Donbass.
Last year, the Russian military tracked about 3,000 foreign combat aircraft, including about 1,000 spy planes and reconnaissance drones, flying near Russia’s maritime and land borders. Over the same period, Russian plans were scrambled repeatedly to intercept some of these aircraft and force them to change course.
The US and NATO have substantially increased their reconnaissance operations along Russia’s borders in the Black and Baltic Seas, as well as around Russian military facilities in Syria, in recent years.
The past year has seen 3,000 foreign combat aircraft, including about 1,000 spy plans, flying around Russia’s maritime and land borders. The Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly called on the Pentagon to put an end to such flights; However, these requests were dismissed by Washington.