Washington/Moscow: The Russian Tu-154M aircraft was revealed to have carried out surveillance over US’ Area 51 in Nevada, an air base in California and even US nuclear test sites. Eric Pahon, the Spokesman for the US Department of Defence, disclosed the information. The United States has said that the surveillance operation was carried out as part of the international agreement called the ‘Open Skies Treaty’. It is a significant development amid the rising tensions between the two nations over the INF treaty.
The US website, ‘The Drive’ posted information about the Russian aircraft operation. The post reported that the Russian Tu-154M aircraft carried out surveillance over the US military bases. The Open Skies mission started from the Travis Air Force Base in northern California. After that, the Russian aircraft is claimed to have flown over the Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Fort Irwin Training Centre, Creech Air Force Base, Yucca Flat – one of the nuclear test regions, Tonopah Test Range and Dugway Proving Ground.
As per the media, the Russia aircraft even flew over the disputed ‘Area 51’, which is a part of the Edwards Air Force Base in the state of Nevada during the mission. The US Area 51 is believed to fall under the ‘restricted and secure area’ of the US Department of Defence.
As per the information Pentagon revealed in 2013, testing of advanced and experimental aircraft is performed here. All the information on the tests is ‘restricted’ and ‘confidential’ and has never been revealed. Some researchers and experts claim that the area is restricted as experimentation on aliens are performed here. Nonetheless, the US Department of Defence has not given a reaction to the reports.
No information was available as to whether the Russian aircraft took any photographs or recorded any videos during the sortie. However, the Department of Defence Spokesman clarified that the US had inspected the Russian aircraft before the mission and was closely monitoring it as well.
It is Russia’s first Open Skies flight for surveillance over the US bases this year. Earlier, the United States had carried out a reconnaissance flight over the Russian bases in the last month. Since November 2017, it is the first time both the nations executed reconnaissance flights on each other’s bases in successive months.
A few days ago, the US and Russian nuclear bombers were believed to have simultaneously carried out exercises in Europe.