A Russian Tu-154M reconnaissance plane has conducted a surveillance flight over US military facilities located on the west coast of the country including Area 51.
The flight was performed under the Treaty on Open Skies, which was on the verge of being frozen by the US in 2018. Washington at the time accused Russia of not fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.
The plane reportedly took off from Great Falls and flew over the Edwards Air Force Base, United States Air Force Plant 42, which is used to modernise and assemble various military aircraft, including strategic bombers, Vandenberg Air Force Base, as well as the Nellis Test and Training Range — also known as Area 51.
The Tu-154M-ON is a modification of the Russian Tu-154M LK-1, which is used in cosmonaut training programmes, is specifically fitted for conducting aerial inspections.