October 03, 2017

Open Skies Treaty overflight of the United States by the RuAF Sept 25-29 2017

From September 25th to 29th the USAF played host to an Open Skies Treaty overflight of the United States by the Russian Federation.  Here is the flight plan as captured by FlightRadar24, as best as it was able to track the flight using Mode-S MLAT, triangulating transponder information received by private receivers across the country. You'll notice the green dots are likely sites which pictures were being taken, as they were within the allowable envelope. Provided they were at ~11,000ft, and not banking, they would be allowed take pictures, per the treaty and arranged flight plan.

Flying at 11,000ft indicates the digital electro-optical sensor (that when spoken of before the Senate Armed Services Committee was made to sound like the Death Star by DIA 3-Star General Stewart) was in "medium" altitude mode, and the swath was 7.7km (4.8mi) total width.  Please remember that USAF members are aboard the plane for the entire overflight, the camera being used has been certified by a 22 nation committee, and the resolution of the imagery is worse than commercially available satellite imagery.

As usual, the USAF did not inform the American people of this overflight because their media posture is "passive", by policy. Only the Russian news media, usually maligned as "fake news" or propagandists, inform us of these flights. Why would the US Government be more controlling with the message than the Russians? Wouldn't they want to show a working treaty in action and dispel any fear about the Red Scare narrative? 🤔

(There is another Open Skies overflight going on this week, FYI)


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