ALERT US RC-135 flew close to passenger jets near Russian border


Russia’s air defense detected an RC-135 spy plane belonging to US Air Force on Sunday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in its statement. The plane was on an air reconnaissance mission with all of its transponders having been shut off, it added.

At least two passenger jets belonging to major European airlines were endangered by the then-unknown aircraft over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan on Sunday, Interfax reported.

The RC-135 was flying at 36,000 feet and did not respond to air traffic control, the agency said citing its source. Russian air controllers had to immediately change the flight path of a KLM Boeing-777, en route from Japan to Holland.

Pilots from another plane, operated by Swiss airlines, heading to Switzerland from Japan, even reported “visual contact with a large four-engine aircraft, which was in direct proximity to their plane” and sent no recognition signals, the source said. The flying altitude for the Swiss jet also had to be changed by the air traffic control.

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