British Inspectors to Overfly Russia

MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – Military inspectors from the UK will carry out observation flights over Russian territory this week under the international Open Skies Treaty, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

British experts will fly over Russia between May 13 and 17 on board a Swedish SAAB-340 plane, and will use surveillance equipment certified internationally and approved by the Russian side, the ministry said.

Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors and imaging radar.

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 35 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.

The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.


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