Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 124

The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday circulated a statement denouncing the planned flights over parts of Kazakstan by a specially-equipped U.S. Navy P-3 Orion patrol plane that arrived in Almaty last week. The plane carries under its wings what is known as the Airborne Multisensory Pod System (AMPS)-2. The pods house sophisticated imaging instruments which map the ground beneath the aircraft with a wide array of sensors. The upcoming flights are being conducted on the basis of a July 1996 agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and Kazakstan’s Ministry of Science. They aim to help Kazakstan evaluate and then clean up the sites on its territory used by the Soviet Union to test both nuclear and chemical or biological weapons. The flights are also an experiment to see if the AMPS can locate mineral deposits.

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