October 01, 2016

Russian Open Skies Treaty overflight of the USA | September 26th-30th 2016

Nevada Test Site - Gate 1
Taken April 2 2010 - Photo by Bill Ebbesen (Wikipedia)
While I don't intend to blog about every single Open Skies Treaty overflight of the United States of America by the Russian Air Force, Nevada is a hub of historically significant military sites, and continues to be a hotbed of military testing facilities, restricted airspace, and military bases. Generally, the Russian Air Force doesn't pick the places they photograph; they are the operators and tip of the spear;.  The RuAF execute requests by other agencies for imagery of American locations of interest, not just requests from the Russian Ministry of Defence. Since each Open Skies mission has a limited amount of distance it can cover, as mandated by the Treaty, the Russians do not try and fly over all of the US at once, they break it up into zones. This flight was an observation mission over California and Nevada. If you zoom in to a reasonable detail level and follow the flight path you'll find a "who's who" (a what's what?) of DoD and DoE locations, as well as other places of interest to the Russian Federation.  Reverse-engineering this flight path, you can discern where the US Military is conducting their most sensitive testing, training, research, and any number of other "interesting" things.

Previous Open Skies treaty posts here for background.

Thank you @ktul_adsb for spotting additional points of interest!

NB: RF-85655 just took off en route to CFB Trenton, Iceland, and ultimately Kubinka (Кубинка) Air Base, originating from Travis AFB where last week's mission was being based from.


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