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Anti-submarine aircraft have been loitering over the same area off the California coast for hours, which is fueling speculation that a Russian – or a North Korean – submarine was spotted in the area.
While the report of a foreign vessel is unconfirmed at this point, the military patrol is apparently not part of a routine exercise due to the number of aircraft hovering over the same area and the late hours of operation.
The patrol includes multiple low-flying aircraft including a Navy EP-3E Aries II, which is used for electronic surveillance, a Navy P-3C Orion, which is used for submarine spotting, and a Boeing P-8 Poseidon used for anti-submarine warfare.