: NATO commander calls for return to service of U-2 spy plane

14:10 Mar. 27, 2016

NATO commander calls for return to service of U-2 spy plane

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US Gen. Philip M. Breedlove waits for the start of a meeting of NATO's Military Committee at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 21, 2016. (AP Photo)

General Philip Breedlove says Russia poses 'long-term existential threat' to the U.S.

The U-2 spy plane, one of the most emblematic aircraft of the Cold War, should return to Europe to conduct surveillance on a resurgent and aggressive Russia, a top American general has warned, British newspaper The Independent reported.

General Philip Breedlove, the head of U.S. forces in Europe and NATO's supreme allied commander, said the iconic jet was among "additional intelligence collection platforms" needed to effectively counter an increased threat posed by Moscow, according to The Independent.

Read also Russia is beefing up military activity in eastern Ukraine: Breedlove

The officer said Russia poses a "long-term existential threat" to the United States.

With sensors that can spot a landmine from a height of 13 miles and scoop up vast amounts of communications data, the U-2 would prove a potent tool in monitoring any build-up or sudden movement of Russian forces on the border of the Baltic states or the Ukraine, according to the report.

Reporting by UNIAN.

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