This morning we reported that an Italian Air Force ATR P-72A MPA (reg. MM62279), which took off from Sigonella, was heading towards the position of the Russian cruiser Ustinov.
Missions to monitor the Russian Navy cruiser “Ustinov” task force in the Ionian Sea continue.— Itamilradar (@ItaMilRadar) February 21, 2022
While a USNavy Boeing P-8A returns to Sigonella after a maritime patrol, a P-72A of the Italian Air Force has left the Sicilian base to carry out a similar mission.#NATO #Russia pic.twitter.com/0WCIIUw5NH
A new track confirms that the mission of the Italian aircraft was precisely to monitor the movements of the Russian unit.
The ATR has orbited the Russian cruiser around 12:30 CET.
The Russian ship is less than 200 nautical miles (around 180) from the port of Taranto, the main base of the Italian Navy.