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Romanian An-30 visiting Volkel AB,  11 February 2009

On February 11th 2009 Volkel AB was visited by a Romanian An-30 which flew an Open Skies training flight. During this flight film- and photographic recordings are made of military installations which are later processed at the Open Skies office at  Volkel AB. After evaluation with the Open Skies crew the An-30 left Volkel again. This training flight was a preparation for the official Open Skies flight which will take place later this year.


The Open Skies Treaty is a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The Open Skies Treaty is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.


The concept of 'mutual aerial observation' was proposed to Soviet Premier Bulgarin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by US President Eisenhower, however, the Soviets rejected the concept and it lay dormant for several years. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of US President George Bush in 1989.


Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki on March 24th 1992. The treaty entered into force on January 2nd 2002, after Russia and Belarus completed ratification procedures. Observation flights take place over the Netherlands every year since. Last year Volkel AB was visited by a Russian An-30 to process and evaluate their film- and photographic material.


The Antonov An-30 is another member of the An-24 family. It was designed as an aerial survey and photographic airplane, employed e.g. for map-making. The aircraft flew for the first time in 1973. Various cameras and sensors are integrated into the fuselage, and some of the airplanes reportedly even feature their own darkrooms. To make more room for the equipment, An-30 features a raised cockpit on the forward fuselage. As the An-30 is a highly specialized aircraft type, it has only been built in small numbers. 


The Romanian Air Force purchased a total of three An-30's of which the first reached Otopeni Air Base in December 1976. In the same month it performed the first flight with Romanian pilots and the first photo mission was performed in July 1977. For the time being Romanian Air Force uses the aircraft for geodetic surveys and Open Skies missions. On March 22nd 1995 Romanian An-30, 1104 already visited Volkel AB for the Open Skies Treaty. Nowadays only one An-30 is active for the Romanian Air Force, which is mainly used for their Open Skies missions.

source: wikipedia





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