A Russian airliner used for special transport, including President Vladimir Putin, flew to the United States on Saturday morning. As usual, several theories emerged.
An Ilyushin IL-96-300 with RA-96019 registration was spotted en route to the United States, taking off without warning, as is usually the case with military aircraft. The instrument is one of ten model jets currently operating for the RSD, a special aircraft division of the Russian Space Force.
The RSD is the equivalent of the Brazilian Air Force Special Transport Committee (GTE), which carries the President, Vice President, Ministers and top officials of the Brazilian government.
Other RST aircraft include the French Airbus A319, the Ukrainian Antonov On-148, the new Sukhoi Superjet 100, the Dupolev Tu-154 Trijet and the Tu-204 and Tu-214 jets.
All of these aircraft were built for commercial passenger aircraft and were highly modified to operate VIP transport in Russia, including a luxurious interior, anti-missile protection package, additional sensors (you can find a ‘tumor’ on the fuselage of the IL-96), and other accessories to protect government members.
At the time of writing, the FlightRadar24 flight tracking device is the most tracked aircraft. It is estimated to be 1:14 pm local time in the US capital, Washington.
Despite the fact that US airspace is closed to Russian aircraft, this aircraft, which does not carry passengers, is exempt from the US government but is not exempt from Finland, Sweden and Norway, requiring major diversion as seen on radar. .
Update: Reuters confirms that this is a special flight to rescue a group of Russian ambassadors expelled from the United States on espionage charges.
You can follow the flight in real time, below:
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