Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is still in the Mediterranean where it operates watched closely by NATO E-3 AWACS.
Even if it has reportedly ended its mission and headed for Severomorsk, Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is still sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
Its position can be determined based on the NOTAMs (Notice To Airmen) issued for the Algiers FIR (Flight Information Region).
Two of them provide details about the area of operation of the aircraft operating from the carrier:
A0962/14 – AIRSPACE RESERVATION FOR RUSSIAN NAVY WILL TAKE PLACE PLAN FLTS FM ACFT CARRIER AVIATION WI AREA BRAVO (B): 3900N 00500E 3900N 00700E 3740N 00700E 3720N 00500E 3900N 00500E. SFC – FL180, APR 23 24 25 AND 26 HR:0800-1700, 23 APR 08:00 2014 UNTIL 26 APR 17:00 2014. CREATED: 21 APR 09:54 2014
A0961/14 – AIRSPACE RESERVATION FOR RUSSIAN NAVY WILL TAKE PLACE PLAN FLTS FM ACFT CARRIER AVIATION WI AREA ALPHA (A): 3745N 00220E 3825N 00400E 3720N 00400E 3700N 00210E 3745N 00220E. SFC – FL160, APR 24 25 AND 26 HR:0800-1700, 24 APR 08:00 2014 UNTIL 26 APR 17:00 2014. CREATED: 21 APR 09:47 2014
Image above shows the waypoints of Area B put on a map using Skyvector.
While such warnings are often issued for (U.S.) aircraft carriers hence they are not really special, what is worth noticing is that the flying activity of the Russians in the Mediterranean Sea is watched closely by NATO E-3 planes.
Indeed, it seems that NATO AEW (Airborne Early Warning) planes have frequently operated in the Southeastern Mediterranean in the last few days, while Admiral Kuznetsov transited south of Malta towards the waters off Algeria, between Sardinia and the Balearic islands.
Most probably, the E-3s are not only observing the Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker-D all-weather carrier-based air defence fighters but also performing routine electronic surveillance by means of onboard electronic support measures (ESM).
H/T Roberto Petagna for sending us the relevant NOTAMs
Image credit: Russian Navy