The U.S. Navy reportedly flew its new marine surveillance aircraft over the Romanian coast to provide accurate targeting data to Ukrainian forces to sink the Russian Black Sea flag ship Moskva last week.
According to The Times, a U.S. marine surveillance P-8 Poseidon aircraft, was tracking Moskva in the hours before it was attacked on April 13 before supplying its location to the Ukrainian military.
The P-8 took off from Italy and took up station on the Romanian Black Sea coast where it attempted to locate the position of the Russian Black Sea fleet, the paper reported Wednesday.
Ukraine claimed it fired two Neptun missiles at the Russian warship which was patrolling south of Odessa.
Russia initially claimed the vessel, which had more than 500 crew on board had blown up after a fire onboard.
Later, the Kremlin was forced to admit that hostile action had taken out the vessel which is named after the Russian capital.
The US Navy deployed one of its Boeing Poseidon P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft on the Black Sea coast over Romania in the hours before the Ukrainian attack on the Moskva
The Boeing-made aircraft is based upon the Boeing 737-800 jet – which is widely used by commercial airlines.
It is packed with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment which can track surface vessels and submarines at ranges of more than 160 kilometers or 100 miles.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, a range of NATO surveillance platforms and drones have been monitoring Russian movements from the Polish coast, along the Ukrainian border and down to the Black Sea.
The Moskva, pictured leaving Sevastopol on April 10, was the main air defense asset in the Black Sea Fleet and served as its flagship
Moskva was the Russian Black Sea fleet’s main radar platform, equipped with S-300 surface to air missiles to protect from air attack.
The vessel sank as tugs attempted to tow the crippled warship back to Crimea for repairs.