Revealed: When A NATO Aircraft Snooped On Vikramaditya

Got my hands on a series of photographs of an incident last year that both the Indian Navy and Russian Navy have kept under wraps until now: a NATO P-3 Orion that flew in to snoop on the Vikramaditya as it conducted trials in the Barents Sea. It wasn’t just any reconnaissance mission — the aircraft dropped sensor buoys to snoop. Russians on board summoned a MiG-29K from shore to chase away the intruding P-3, after which a the incident was raised diplomatically. But all very hush hush.
My full report for India Today and more photographs here.

20 thoughts on “Revealed: When A NATO Aircraft Snooped On Vikramaditya”

  1. This is very common with all armed forces in the world. Nothing unusual about the episode. My guess would be that NATO was trying to understand more of the Russian's technology on board Viki for the sole purpose of dealing with the Russian Navy's technology from a NATO-Russian perspective.

    India should be more concerned & watchful when we bring Viki home. The Chin/Pak are going to do the same stuff, and our Navy will be more than prepared to take counter measures.

  2. Credibility of the defense correspondent as well as the news channel comes under strain when they sensationalize something that is commonplace and rather routine. And as to taking this matter up diplomatically…who are we kidding? Nobody gives the time of the day for such a protest, even if there was one, which I doubt?

    I remember a photo of Soviet Tu-22 Backfire shadowed by 2 RAF F-4 Phantoms in early 80s with the caption of the radio message of the Tupolov "He's got his pictures. I'm heading home".

  3. Hi Shiv … I feel this is the right time to bring up the inclusion of Barak 8 with INS Vikramaditya and the Kolkata clsss destroyers which are in the pipeline .
    Since there are many views that the Barak 8 is going to get fitted on to Vikramaditya by 2015-2017 i.e 3 years down the line .
    Can you please confirm the authenticity of the above . Post some use full info as to when the navy is going to get the much awaited Barak 8.

    PS: Israel is installing the Barak 8 on Saar 5 class corvettes ( )

  4. Every propeller makes a sound signature when rotates. So it is better that she should come via Cape of Good Hope not through Suez Canal, as it will be very easy to find her acoustic signatures when she will be transiting Suez. If require we may need to send tanker to supply High Speed Diesel and other ships for rations.

  5. That's why never believe any country that is part of NATO. First one not to believe is USA. USA his given 15 billion dollars for Pakistan with F-15's and missiles to target India.

  6. These r unavoidable incidents & can take place anywhere at any time. Its impossible to hide a 44,000 ton ship from p3 or satellite or unmanned underwater vehicle. A robust air defence system & anti submarine warfare system is a must for such carriers.

  7. If this was known of quite some time, why was this not published before? Why now…at the time of the Vikramaditya Handover?

    My guess is……after raping the Indian Govt/Taxpayers of this exhorbiant "free" carrier, the Russians want to prove/retain their position of being the sole supplier which truly "stands by" India's side.

    by stating that NATO/US and allies are all snooping on Indian Assets…they are thus not trustworthy. While the great russians are so trusty.

    Wolves in a Sheep's clothing. until the MOD has the galls, these russians will keep crapping such nonsense.

    It might be a standard practise, but its really quite despicable how this whole Vikramidtya carrier has turned out.

    Billions pumped into the carrier has revived the Russian Naval industry…after a almost close-down. And the russians want to keep milking us further. Wow! i bet we will play right into it.


  8. this happens..but this UPA govt doesn't have the balls to raise it those who were snooping..whether it is chinks incursions in ladakh etc..or paki terro..we do nothing…this UPA govt.wants to -hush-hush everything. nobody respects india coz of this UPA govt.

  9. hello shiv.
    are you sure about this.cause this looks somewh similar to this.

  10. Shiv,
    Spying in international waters is not a new phenomenon. It's going on for ages. WHat to say, even the might US super cruisers are "paid visits" by Russian bears or IL78. Net is full of pictures.

    One bear flew just about 600 mtrs above the deck of Nimitz. Can do much.



  11. There is a picture of the bobbing sonobuoy in the water. Do not understand why they didn't blow it out of the water with a depth charge!!

  12. Could the P3 orion that India got form US, and also the C17 & C130, be bugged with things like GPS and discreet transmitters, permanently fused to the core frame?

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