Russian Airliner Had to Change Altitude to Avoid NATO Spy Plane

CL-600 plane crossed the flight path of flight to Moscow

Civilian airliners fly very public routes, and it behooves states not to interfere with those flights with any military or surveillance craft. It’s best for safety, and not doing so risks calling attention to their activity.

One of NATO’s CL-600 spy planes forced two aircraft to change course because it got in the way. The bigger of the two was a Russian airliner headed to Moscow from Tel Aviv, which had to drop below 2,000 feet to safely cross.

Another smaller craft, flying from Sochi to Skopje, was also forced to change course. Russia did not identify which NATO nation the CL-600 belonged to. Such planes are principally in the operation of the US, Britain, and Canada.

That wasn’t even the only incident over the Black Sea on Fridasy. Russia also reported that their air force intercepted a US spy plane in the area. The US plane, a RC-135, was chased out of the area by Su-27 and Su-30 fighters.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.