An EP-3 Aries reconnaissance plane with the aircraft number 157326 flew out of a US Air Force base on Crete on an hours-long mission off the Crimean coast and Russia’s southern region of Krasnodar.
In a parallel development, a RQ-4A Global Hawk strategic drone with aircraft number 10-2043, operating out of an airbase on Sicily, likewise cruised along the Crimean and Kuban coastlines, CivMilAir reported.
Heading back to Souda Bay from a Black Sea mission 👀— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) 26 февраля 2018 г.
🇺🇸 US Navy
EP-3 Aries 157326 pic.twitter.com/ugFqaWVjyu
US surveillance aircraft have been regularly spotted near the Russian border since January.
All earlier calls by the Russian Defense Ministry for Washington to cease and desist from flying such missions in the direct vicinity of Russian airspace have been turned down by the Pentagon.