France’s C-130N aircraft to perform observation flight over Russia

20 October 2020 (Last Updated October 20th, 2020 15:50)

France’s C-130N aircraft is set to carry out an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation.

France’s C-130N aircraft is set to carry out an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation.

Announced by the Russian National Centre for nuclear risk reduction Sergey Ryzhkov, the move is part of the International Treaty on Open Skies.

As planned, the French mission will undertake the observation flight on Swedish C-130N observation plane from Kubinka airfield.

The International Treaty on Open Skies enables the signatories to carry out unarmed surveillance flights at short notices on territories of other participants who have ratified the treaty.

The treaty is aimed to build confidence among the states and promote transparency of military activities.

In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defence said that Russian specialists will be on-board the observation aircraft to ensure strict adherence to the agreed protocols.

The C-130N is an observation aircraft and it is not designed to carry any weapons.

The aircraft and observation equipment installed on it, including aerial cameras, completed international certification.

Notably, the US formally announced its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies treaty in May, citing violations from the Russian side.

The US alleged that Russia was using the treaty to support propaganda narratives and justify its aggression against its neighbours.

A US Department of Defense (DoD) statement also apprehended that the treaty may be used by the Russian side for targeting military installations in the US and in the allied nations.

The US obligations under the treaty will effectively end next month.