Experimental U.S. spy plane “tested” Russian air defense systems

As part of the Baltops 2021 exercise, the US Army “tested” on Russia a new Challenger 650 Artemis reconnaissance and target designation aircraft, Izvestia reported, citing sources in the Russian Defense Ministry.

“The aerial spy can listen to radio communications, detect ground targets and track their movements. It has tried several times to conduct reconnaissance of air defense systems as well as control and communication points in the Kaliningrad Region,” the newspaper writes.

The newspaper asserts that when approaching the borders of Russia, the newest spy plane was timely detected, identified and escorted by the air defense forces, which tracked several of its flights in the Baltic region, along the borders of Kaliningrad oblast and Belorussia, as well as over the Black Sea.

Experimental U.S. spy plane "tested" Russian air defense systems

According to the newspaper, the Challenger 650 Artemis has, among other things, devices for remote wiretapping of communication channels, powerful radar and radio reconnaissance equipment, which detects electromagnetic signals from radars and radio stations and determines the exact location of their source from hundreds of kilometers away.

According to military expert Vladislav Shurygin, the Baltops exercise was scripted to practice confrontation with Russia.

In September 2019, Jeffrey Harrigan, commander of the US Air Force in Europe, said that the Pentagon had a plan to break through Kaliningrad’s multi-layered air defenses.

In August 2018, Harrigan said that for the past year and a half, the U.S. has been actively collecting data on Russian military equipment and capabilities in Syria.