The US military has tested a new spy plane with an array of sensors in Europe, the Pentagon said on Monday, as tensions with Moscow ramp up.US forces have been conducting surveillance missions in Europe since 2009, when US intelligence agencies began a military campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
The new aircraft is based on an A-10 Warthog, the aircraft that carried out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011.
It is one of four planes in the US inventory with an advanced sensor suite that can detect threats from land, air and sea.
The A-11 “Super Hornet” has two infrared cameras and a camera that can read infrared signatures from a target.
The sensors have the potential to track small vehicles, drones and even people in close proximity to a target, the military said in a statement.
US defence officials said the planes would be deployed by 2025 to support US air forces in Europe.
The Pentagon did not say when the planes might be deployed in the region, although some analysts believe the deployment could come as early as next year.US intelligence agencies have been targeting Russia and China, which have both engaged in a series of territorial and economic moves in the Middle East.