Last May 22, the Russian air defense had detected an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft from the U.S. Air Force conducting aerial surveillance over the sea of Japan as it flew close to Russia’s border. Moscow has called the activity “unprofessional.” At the same time, it claims that recent surveillance by the U.S. had put two commercial planes nearby in danger.
According to Russia, the U.S. spy plane, which had turned off its transponders, ended up flying too close to some civilian aircraft. “As the result of the unprofessional actions of the American plane crew, the hazard of a collision with civil aviation planes was created,” says the Russian defense ministry. It was said to have been flying an at estimated altitude of 11,000 meters or 36,000 feet and refused to respond to air traffic control.
Commercial Aircraft In Danger During U.S. Surveillance Flight
With the U.S. military aircraft not responding, a report from RT revealed that air traffic control were forced to immediately change the flight path of a Boeing-777 operated by KLM in the same region. The flight was making its way from Japan to Holland. On the other hand, pilots from an aircraft being operated by Swiss airlines reported having “visual contact with a large four-engine aircraft, which was in direct proximity” to its flight.
In response, the flight altitude of the Swiss aircraft also had to be changed by aircraft control. The Swiss flight was making its way from Switzerland to Japan.
U.S. Summoned By Russia
In response to the incident, Russian News Agency Tass reported that the defense attaché of the U.S. Embassy to Russia was summoned by Russia’s Defense Ministry to discuss the incident.
Russia has also released an official statement, saying that the U.S. should not send its surveillance place close to Russian borders. Should it do so again, however, the ministry said that it should, “turn on transponders for automatic identification by our radars.”