Very busy Black Sea

This afternoon we witnessed significant traffic in the Black Sea area. Multiple missions occurred throughout the afternoon. During the night, a USAF Northrop Grumman RQ-4B (registration 10-2045 – call sign FORTE13) operated over the central/eastern Black Sea, taking off from Sigonella.

A RAF Boeing RC-135W (registration ZZ666), departing from RAF Mildenhall, conducted a SIGINT mission over the Black Sea, south of Crimea.

The aircraft was likely accompanied by Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 jets departing from the Cypriot base of RAF Akrotiri.

Escorting such flights has become routine since the serious incident involving a British Rivet Joint aircraft in September 2022, where a Russian fighter mistakenly launched a missile at the British aircraft, as claimed by Moscow.

The entire mission is supported by an Airbus KC.2 tanker (registration ZZ330), also launched from RAF Akrotiri, orbiting over eastern Romania.

On the Black Sea coast, two other assets were active: an Italian Air Force Gulfstream E.550 CAEW (registration MM62293) taking off from Pratica di Mare AB, and a USN Boeing P-8A taking off from NAS Sigonella. Further evidence of the high level of NATO commitment in the area.

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