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Near miss SAS plane and Russian Iljusjin-20M

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Near miss SAS plane and Russian Iljusjin-20M

Old 8th May 2014, 07:42
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Near miss SAS plane and Russian Iljusjin-20M

I wonder where this happened? I assume over the
Baltic somewhere.

Russian spy plane nearly collides with SAS flight - Radio Sweden | Sveriges Radio
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Old 8th May 2014, 08:02
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Near miss off Copenhagen - Russians at it again

The Swedish public service reported this morning that a SAS flight SK681 on route Copenhagen to Rome on March 3rd 2014 came to within 90m of an unidentified target, which was later confirmed to be a Russian IL20M. The news piece here, so far in Swedish.

According to the story, the IL got picked on the Kastrup PSR and info was forwarded to the bewildered crew. The crew manoeuvred to avoid and reported seeing the IL in great detail, passing left to right. The incident happened in international airspace and naturally the IL was flying with its transponder off and could not be seen on the SSR or on the TCAS.

Scary stuff. 90m up there is nothing, this could have been ugly very easily. I expect some questions to be raised soon, notably why the Il was not escorted and an early warning given to Copenhagen ATC.

EDIT to clarify: According to the news piece the incident occurred 50 km south of Malmö above international waters and the SAS flight was infringed shortly after takeoff.

Last edited by W.R.A.I.T.H; 8th May 2014 at 08:32.
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Old 8th May 2014, 15:12
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No military minding the store? Outside "office hours" was it?
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Old 8th May 2014, 16:00
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I have read in the papers that the Polish are worried nowadays.

Well, if the position according to the newspaper is correct (50 km southeast of Malmö) then I guess the Poles have reasons to worry.

A quick glance at the map says that this position would be about half way between Malmö and Sassnitz.




There are no international waters in the strict meaning of the expression in the Baltic Sea afaik. There are only zones where "anything goes". The Baltic Sea is too small, there are no land that can have a standard sized economical zone without overlapping. Instead there are lots of treaties of varying degree of complicatedness...
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Old 8th May 2014, 19:46
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Should be "approximately Okay " I guess they were just having a jolly, for sure they weren't eying up the next country to invade (sorry, I mean next country where they need to guarantee the safety of Russian minorities )
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Old 9th May 2014, 08:44
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MrSnuggles

"Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, territorial waters are waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from a coastal state, and they are considered to be within the jurisdiction of that particular state or ‘territorial waters’. If oceans, seas, rivers or lakes extend beyond international boundaries and are not territorial waters, they are classed as ‘international waters’. They are also referred to as the ‘high seas’."

It used to be 3 miles before 1982. States claim economic control out to 200 miles but that is not the same thing as territorial waters.
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:35
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Thankyou TC for that. I was, as I mentioned, a bit unsure about the strict meaning of "international waters".

Anyway, in reality, the "international waters" in the Baltic Sea are more or less up for grabs and it is only when something major happens that the strict definitions suddenly are very important. Estonia is such a major event. Or the Soviet era submarines that snooped around Swedish military bases during the 1980-s, although they were sometimes so close to the coast, you could hear them gulping their vodka... ;-D

It does bother me that with this political tension, a military plane from Russia is snooping around without informing anyone. It also bothers me that they apparently disregard any air safety. 90 m is frighteningly close. What were they thinking? Taking out an entire plane with innocent Danes going for a vacation?

I would like an explanation to

a) why there will be no investigation

b) why the Russian plane didn't report its position

Last edited by MrSnuggles; 9th May 2014 at 09:36. Reason: adding lol
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Old 9th May 2014, 14:12
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I can add one more question, where were the Danish and/or Swedish military? Were they tracking it? Or could there be a MH370 like disappearance in their airspace?
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Old 9th May 2014, 14:28
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Since there is no formal investigation, I must assume much of this "incident" must be contributed to current EU elections and the feverish NATO debate in Sweden and Finland. For a full week we read daily headlines about a Russian plane circling in Russian airspace, close to Finland border, stopping short of identifying the obvious explanation (Putin's communication link plane).
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Old 9th May 2014, 18:23
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oceancrosser:

where were the Danish and/or Swedish military?
I have no idea about the Danish, but the Swedish military forces is a joke. Sad fact is that we have very competent military ÖB (don't know the English term for Mr ÜberHauptBanhofGeneralLieutenantCommanderInChief) but the politicians have naive and really really stupid decisions to answer for.

One example: We used to have a really well trained air force base in Uppsala some five minutes by JAS to Stockholm. Due to LOCAL POLITICS this fully functional base close to our capital was abandoned and instead they built one completely new one in Östersund.

Now take a look at the map and ask yourselves what in heavens name we need a full load of top notch airplanes in a place that interests only skiers and hermits. Well, we are well prepared if someone wants to do an enemy take over of our biggest ski resort... sigh..



Short story: The Swedish military was totally asleep except for those watching reindeers in Östersund. Maybe Norwegian spy reindeers...?

Last edited by MrSnuggles; 9th May 2014 at 18:39. Reason: correcting url... erhm correction again...
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Old 11th May 2014, 09:46
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where were the Danish and/or Swedish military?

Our military where only watching the event and responded only by informing the civil planes about the invisible danger.

Usually Russian planes without transponders escorted by a Danish F16. However these drones are a new thread. They are simply cheeper so the Russians can use them more often. And they have.

After this event 3 Danish F16 have been stationed in Estonia to ease response and help secure the borders of Baltic countries. And the Swedish parlement have also decided to spend money on something air defense related.
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Old 11th May 2014, 12:15
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However these drones are a new thread. They are simply cheeper so the Russians can use them more often.
Are you suggesting the Il-20 had no crew on board?

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Old 11th May 2014, 13:07
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Are you suggesting the Il-20 had no crew on board?
Ohh, sorry. No they are not drones. They do have a crew. They are basically a passenger plane with the responder turned off. I don't know if they did radar clocking, but since Copenhagen ATC couldn't see them at all they might have.

I don't know why I called it a drone just because they kept radio silence. I guess the right term would be a ufo :-)

And I was a little frustrated that they send a plane that is a lot cheaper to use than the F16 we usually use to intercept them. And sending a plane from Denmark to intercept them, only makes sense if we choose to do so when they are far away from Copenhagen approach. If not, then we suddenly have 2 planes from 2 sides in Copenhagen approach that doesn't belong there.

But I guess that is the game. We only choose our move. ( But 'we' I mean our military and civil air administration )
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Old 11th May 2014, 14:15
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Nato assistance to the Baltic countries . it's nothing new!

The four Danish F-16 fighters are not in Estonia because of this incident! They are there because of a Nato air policing agreement to patrol the air space of the three Baltic member states! Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have no airforces of their own and it's nothing new! Likewise British Typhoons have recently been deployed to Lithuania.
However it goes without saying that the Baltic nerves are a bit raw in the present political climate and the Air Policing agreement might trigger the odd excursion the other way round!
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Old 11th May 2014, 15:01
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Originally Posted by tightcircuit View Post
MrSnuggles

"Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, territorial waters are waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from a coastal state, and they are considered to be within the jurisdiction of that particular state or ‘territorial waters’. If oceans, seas, rivers or lakes extend beyond international boundaries and are not territorial waters, they are classed as ‘international waters’. They are also referred to as the ‘high seas’."

It used to be 3 miles before 1982. States claim economic control out to 200 miles but that is not the same thing as territorial waters.
The airspace above 'international waters' is technically UN airspace under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO then delegates control of the 'International Airspace' to specific countries normally, but not always those whose domestic airspace abuts the international airspace. Thus the East Atlantic airspace is managed by UK NATS Shanwick and NAV Portugal Santa Maria and the North West Atlantic managed by NAV Canada and the US Federal Aviation Administration. There will be similar partitioning set up for the Baltic.

Above 6000ft in these ICAO/international airspaces the airspace is 'managed' (i.e. Controlled) airspace with a control authority responsible for giving a formal clearance to enter. It is NOT like the 'high seas' where anything goes.
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Old 11th May 2014, 17:06
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Ian W,

I think that the "civil aviation" part of ICAO is the key here. It's a long time since I flew maritime but when I did we would often fly over international waters right up to the 12 (or even the earlier 3) mile limit "due regard" ie without an atc clearance and sometimes without even talking to atc. We would ensure our own separation and we were sensible about it of course. We usually stayed clear of airways and below fl245 but not always. I am not aware of current military practices but I did hear a maritime a/c from another nation declare "due regard" fairly recently whilst talking to Lisbon atc, so some forces obviously still use it. It would be totally impractical for some military operations to be effective if an atc clearance was sought. Territorial waters were however always respected (in peacetime at least).

Last edited by tightcircuit; 11th May 2014 at 17:16.
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Old 13th May 2014, 07:28
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The airspace above 'international waters' is technically UN airspace under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO then delegates control of the 'International Airspace' to specific countries normally, but not always those whose domestic airspace abuts the international airspace. Thus the East Atlantic airspace is managed by UK NATS Shanwick and NAV Portugal Santa Maria and the North West Atlantic managed by NAV Canada and the US Federal Aviation Administration. There will be similar partitioning set up for the Baltic.

Above 6000ft in these ICAO/international airspaces the airspace is 'managed' (i.e. Controlled) airspace with a control authority responsible for giving a formal clearance to enter. It is NOT like the 'high seas' where anything goes.
The ICAO conventions concern civil aviation ONLY. State aircraft, such as the military, can basically do whatever they want over international waters without violating international law. So it is certainly "high seas" and the military write their own rules.
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Old 13th May 2014, 18:13
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The ICAO conventions concern civil aviation ONLY. State aircraft, such as the military, can basically do whatever they want over international waters without violating international law. So it is certainly "high seas" and the military write their own rules.
Absolutely correct. And it is not only the Russians that do this , everyone does it and the USAF is also very active in this domain.
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Old 13th May 2014, 18:33
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So do you know why we do it?

Because we can

Jokes aside, some type of mission require us to do stuff that would never be allowed iaw civilian rules and regs. I can mention loads of things that we do due to operational needs, so If you think we do it just for fun, think again.
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Old 16th May 2014, 04:42
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According to this, Danish F16's had been flying along side the rusian plane for an hour.

Danmark sendte F16-jagere op til russisk overvågningsfly før nærkollission | Ingeniøren
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