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Unarmed Russian Military Plane Flies Over U.S. Capitol and Pentagon

Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M José Luis Celada Euba / Flickr

A Russian military surveillance plane flew through secure airspace over Washington on Wednesday, passing near the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and other government buildings, CNN reports, citing two people familiar with the flight.

The reconnaissance mission by the unarmed Russian Air Force Tu-154 had been agreed by U.S. authorities under the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows military aircraft from signatory nations to conduct observational flights over each other’s territories. The aircraft was unarmed, CNN reports.

The plane was due to make a second flight later on Wednesday over Bedminster, New Jersey, where U.S. President Donald Trump is vacationing, CNN reported.

The Russian plane can conduct intelligence gathering including aerial photography, thermal imaging, and picking up signals intelligence.

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