From the Air – Tracking Russia’s Navy in Occupied Crimea

For a fascinating insight to the workings of US military reconnaissance planes, it’s well worth checking out this CNN article and video. Flying out of Sicily, the large recon plane flew over the Black Sea, tracking Russian naval ships and subs along the coast of Russian occupied Crimea. Like most such missions, the US plane predictably attracted the attention of Russian military jets.

The recon plane: P-8A Poseidon, is a US Navy multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft that specializes in anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search and rescue.

The video gives us good views from inside the plane, showing the mass of electronic hardware a screens which enable it to track multiple targets in the sea or air. We also get bird’s-eye views of occupied Crimea and Russian naval hardware. Since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, the Kremlin’s been sabre-rattling in the region. With a large military presence in Crimea, large-scale naval maneuvers in the Black Sea are now routine. Russia’s also conducting on-going harassment and imposing delays on International shipping wishing to visit Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea. The Azov Sea is accessed via the Black Sea. So these recon flights and International Navies sailing in the Black Sea, are a reminder to Putin that he doesn’t rule the Black Sea waves.

Tracking a Russian submarine.
Close-up of the sub.
Radar tracking of ships off Crimea.
Looking down on Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. This is where Russia’s navy operate out of.
View from inside the US recon plane.
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