Data acquired by plane-tracking site FlightRadar confirms redeployment of at least two Russian A-50 Aerial Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the country’s western border.
According to an account by a user who posted one of the FlightRadar screengrabs to the Russian Telegram social media site, two Russian A-50 aircraft taking off from Ivanovo (150 miles northeast of Moscow) and landing at Rostov-on-Don (close to the border with Ukraine) and Kaliningrad (Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania).
The A-50 AEW&C is intended to detect and identify airborne and sea objects determining their position, bearing, and speed. The object data collected by the A-50 aircraft is transferred to command centers. In addition, this AWACS aircraft is able to direct aircraft to engage airborne and surface targets.
The A-50 can fly four hours at 1,000 kilometers from its base at a maximum takeoff weight of 190 metric tons (420,000 lb). The aircraft can be refueled by Il-78 tankers.
A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft with 93966 and 94268 tail numbers were deployed amid unprecedented Russian military activity near the borders with Ukraine and NATO countries.