Russian MoD to reconfigure Tu-214ON aircraft after Open Skies treaty withdrawal

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is planning to reconfigure its Tu-214ON ('ON' for Open Skies), which were previously operated under the Open Skies Treaty, will be reconfigured at the Kazan Aviation Plant (KAZ, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation), according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

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Russian MoD to reconfigure Tu 214ON aircraft The Tu-214ON is an observation version of the Tu-204-200, equipped for Treaty on Open Skies missions and built by Kazan Aircraft Production Association.  The Open Skies treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The US pulled out from the Open Skies Treaty on November 22, 2020. In the wake of this move, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced on January 15 that Moscow had launched internal state procedures for exiting the Treaty. However, the Russian authorities explained that they were ready to revise their position on the Open Skies Treaty, if the US administration acted likewise.  (Picture source: Dmitry Zherdin)

“I have considered that we have two aircraft, which are not operated due to the cancellation of the Open Skies Treaty. They are produced here [at the Kazan Aviation Plant], therefore, they should be reconfigured. The Kazan [Aviation Plant] will undoubtedly do this,” said Shoigu.

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a law to withdraw Russia from the Open Skies Treaty on June 7. All withdrawal processes are set to be completed by December 18.

The United States of America announced their withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty on 21 May 2020. The country finished its withdrawal processes on November 22.

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