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MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. At least 50 experts from 18 countries - participants in the Open Skies Treaty - will carry out preliminary certification of the digital equipment installed on the Russian observation plane Tupolev Tu154M Lk-1 (NATO reporting name: Careless), a senior Russian defense official said on Sunday.
"Within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty implementation, the Russian Federation will hold events aimed at preliminary certification of the digital observation equipment installed on the Tu-154M Lk-1 plane," head of the national Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Ryzhkov said.
"For taking part in preliminary certification, 50 experts from 18 countries are arriving in Russia," he said adding the certification would take place at Kubinka airfield near Moscow. The experts will meet the equipment designers who would give detailed answers to all the questions.
"Test flights are scheduled to be held there," Ryzhkov said. "If the weather is unfavorable, airfields in (the Russian southern cities of) Armavir and Maikop will be engaged."
"The events are envisaged in the Treaty and constitute the first stage of preparations for certification of the digital observation equipment on the Tu-154M Lk-1, scheduled for the summer of 2016," he said, underscoring that it would allow Western partners to make sure that the Russian digital observation equipment was compliant with the requirements prescribed by the Treaty.
"In recent years the Treaty has evolved considerably. Nowadays, a stage of upgrading its material and technical base - transition to digital technology - is under way," the Russian defense official said. "Russia has become a pioneer in it, creating a domestic digital camera and carrying out successful international certification of the Russian Antonov An-30B plane which operated flights with digital equipment on board."
Domestic manufactures made a universal complex, which component parts could be used both on the An-30 and Tu-154M Lk-1 observation planes.
"A similar approach has been used for creation of a universal ground complex recessing data obtained from digital observation systems," Ryzhkov said in conclusion.
Open Skies Treaty
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and has 34 member states. It entered into force in 2002. Surveillance flights are conducted over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries.
The key tasks of the treaty are to develop transparency, monitor the fulfillment of armament control agreements, and expand capabilities to prevent crises in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.