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Russia to retrofit and rerole Open Skies aircraft

Russia is to retrofit and rerole the Tupolev Tu-214ON reconnaissance aircraft it had previously equipped for the Open Skies mission, with Rostec listing a range of proposed new capabilities for the aircraft.

Announced on the conglomerate’s Facebook page on 6 April, the decision to refit and reassign the Russia Aerospace Forces’ (VKS) two Tu-214ONs followed the country’s decision to withdraw from the treaty in the wake of the United States doing the same.

“What is waiting for the unique Tu-214ON aircraft after Russia withdraws from The Treaty on Open Skies? A month ago, Russia officially announced that it was following the United States out of The Treaty on Open Skies, which was signed by more than 30 states. … For this purpose, Russia used three types of aircraft, including the Tu-214ON, equipped with an aviation surveillance complex developed by Rostec's Vega concern. … After the withdrawal from the contract, the concern is ready to retrofit the Tu-214ON with special equipment to solve other tasks,” Rostec said.

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