A US plane patrolled the Black Sea hours before the Moscow cruiser was hit by Ukrainian missiles. reports The Times.
The Boeing P8 Poseidon flew 100 miles from the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
There is currently no official information from the Russian authorities about the number of sailors killed in the attack on the Ukrainian anti-ship missiles “Neptune” on April 13, but it is estimated that there are hundreds. Two days later, the Russian Ministry of Defense showed video footage of sailors on the sunken cruiser, which shows about 160 sailors and officers from the 510-member crew of “Moscow”.
P8 Poseidon is the most advanced aircraft for submarine hunting and surveillance of warships in the American arsenal. It is capable of mapping 10,000 square meters of radar from a distance of 220 miles, which means that “Moscow” was in its range on the day of the sinking.
On April 13, P8 with code AE681B took off from the US Naval Air Base in Sigonella, Sicily, heading for the Black Sea. It was first discovered over the Mediterranean at 1:32 p.m.
FlightRadar24 estimates that the plane flew over the Balkans and Bulgaria before reaching Romania’s Black Sea coast in the early afternoon, Trud reported.
The last registered position of the plane was over the city of Valia Nucarilor in Romania, about 12 miles from the Ukrainian border, at 15.27. At this point, the P8 is less than 100 miles from the cruiser Moscow. At that time, the plane descended from a cruising altitude of 9,000 meters to about 3,600 meters, passing its transponder and disappeared from FlightRadar24 monitors.
For the next 2 hours and 56 minutes, the location of P8 is unknown. He reappeared at 6:23 p.m., flying over Kasimcea in Romania, about 37 miles from his last documented position.
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