newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark
Mark

The raf trash haulers always pushed to breaking point but always first in and last out. Keep up the gd work

Fedaykin

Problem is whilst it looks great on the news it really is an inadequate solution. Only large aid convoys of trucks can really help in this situation and that requires security on the ground.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven

‘Only large aid convoys of trucks can really help in this situation and that requires security on the ground.’

Which means we may as well evacuate them, during our involvement in Bosnia a plan was devised to use the airborne brigade to create a corridor for the UK forces to bug out. I don’t think we have the capability to do that now but a combined NATO airborne op would.

As long as we do just that land and then piss off. Because thousands of Kafirs are going to draw a lot of interest from the IS.

Hohum
Hohum

If one follows events it actually looks like US air power is being used to support Kurdish forces in opening an evacuation corridor. The aid drops are mostly to provide temporary relief supplies as many of these people have been without food or water for days.

Of course, what the end state of this little exercise is anybody’s guess at this point.

Observer
Observer

What is interesting and not mentioned is that there will be someone on the ground liaising with the people and coordinating the air drop, which means that somewhere, someone affiliated with the UK is on the ground.

No one just blindly drops cargo.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Good effort, Kevins. I support you all the way.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

@DN,

There certainly were such plans in place during the Balkans, but it was always a bit Pareto. We could reasonably easily have withdrawn Sector South West to Split, but Gorazde was more challenging, and the Embassy had an insanely long list of civvies in all sorts of weird places who apparently need rescuing. I even found my own name upon it, in Zagreb, with a comment “caution, armed”. WTF? HMG sent me there, and gave me a Browning.

Observer
Observer

RT, how much wine did you have at dinner to cause that personality change? :)

And I think they found your bags. 2nd pallet on the right. :P

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Observer,

Kevins are useful right up to the point that they start whining about wanting fast jets. After that, it is all promises about precision that they don’t deliver, insane costs, and about 17,000 engineers needed per minute of flight time.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

Last night’s drop had to be aborted because of the density of people there…if that’s not a compelling argument for a ground crew and force protection, nothing is. Surely securing a perimeter, flying the aid to the nearest runway and then taking it in by chopper – and taking people out on the empty ones – must be achievable?

This is a shame and a disgrace….

GNB

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

All this talk of Templars has set me to thinking. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta is still in existence and operating as a relief organisation – run by the Knights, who are often retired soldiers as opposed to right-on lefties. Looking at the biography of the current Prince and Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing I wouldn’t be at all surprised if @RT knows him (Ampleforth, Saint John’s College Cambridge, Grenadier Guards, Colonel in the TA). Furthermore, they have Diplomatic Recognition from many states and Observer Status at the UN.

Perhaps somebody could persuade then to look at re-activating their Military status (originally established to protect pilgrims, and their own hospitals) and to specialise in spearheading the aid effort where the environment is hostile – acting on the behalf of the West, ideally with UN backing. Hard to be sure, but my sense of many of the comments here is that a number our ex-service colleagues wouldn’t at all mind a legitimate opportunity to to take (extremely) robust measures to protect and sustain refugees…if they had a legitimate opportunity to do so.

Completely bonkers, I agree…but then the emergence of Caliph Ibrahim in 2014 hardly looks quite like normal jogging, does it?

Raving Gloomy

Kent
Kent

@GNB – I can bring my own kit with basic load.

stephen duckworth

@GNB
Father Miguel Pajares , a brother of San Juan de Dios , has recently be brought back to Spain from Liberia where he contracted Ebola.
My grandparents worked for them at the St John of God Hospital in Silverdale Lancashire and continued there when the Sisters of Mary of the Apostles took over in 68.They are both buried in theSt Marys Church at Yealand Conyers nearby.
They are still a world presence doing much need missionary work. Of the would supply their own ambulance service in the form of St Johns Ambulance , many who also serve in the TA as medics.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

GNB, don’t know him, but he seems a decent sort. I sold a Labrador puppy to some people called Festing in Northumberland in 1995, they might be his relations.

The concept is good however. Muscular Christianity with compassion, backed up by firepower.

Mark
Mark

Itv news reporting possible deployment of raf tornados to Iraq

The Other Chris

BBC article for same:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28746403

Reconnaissance role proposed suggesting RAPTOR. Singular “RAF Tornado” mentioned, though whether that’s just the one airframe or the airframes required to support one available aircraft isn’t mentioned.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

@ Kent – Very much in the spirit of the first generation of Warrior-Monks. The major orders all started as voluntary confederations of Knights (often poor) determined to discharge their Crusader Vow by helping and defending poor pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem (hence the Hospitals, which were part infirmary, part refuge, and part caravanserai). After they accepted the Monastic Rule of Saint Benedict and took vows they accepted no authority but that of the Pope, not least because of their impatience with the intrigues and double-dealing of the Governments of the day whose own greed and ambition interfered with the core mission of protecting pilgrims and maintaining the security of the Holy Land. So a fiercely independent, remorseless and highly professional combined arms operation determined to do what they saw as the right thing and damn the consequences…often acting on behalf of defenceless civilians.

I am, as you might be able to tell, warming to this theme… :-)

@RT – Spot on – the Gentleman in question is indeed a scion of an ancient Northumbrian House, and one his sixteenth century ancestors fought as a Knight of Malta…although he was martyred by our own unlovely Henry VIII because of his unshakeable Roman Catholic faith. :-(

@Mark – I hope so, but Hammond is still denying it; that fucked-up parliamentary vote on action in Syria went well didn’t it? Really set us up to do the right thing in these circumstances…according to the Labour MP Mike Gapes “The PM may feel unable to act now following his defeat and mishandling of the Syria debate last August…he should get over it and urgently recall Parliament”…presumably so that the Labour Party can score a few more cheap political points by encouraging him to propose action again, and then voting him down again in the most destructive and headline-winning way achievable.

I hope Milliband is proud of what his duplicity and double-dealing achieved…

GNB

Mark
Mark

The British government will deploy RAF Tornado fast jets to assist the humanitarian mission in northern Iraq, Downing Street has confirmed.

In a statement, Number 10 said “a small number” of Tornado jets will be sent to the region to improve the UK’s surveillance capability and help the humanitarian effort.

The UK will also look at how it can get equipment to Kurdish forces, the statement added.

The fighter jets would be based in Cyprus at RAF Akrotiri, alongside the C-130 Hercules cargo planes that arrived over the weekend to carry out aid drops.

Chris
Chris

Gloomy – amused me somewhat to find our very own St John Ambulance is closely connected to the same Knights Hospitaller; they even have 4×4 ambulances in their fleet! Off they go then!

As for the Syria vote, I am less disgruntled by that than many here. Mostly because there was no clear good or bad side to support – two bad sides each supported by deeply undesirable factions defined as terrorist by the western world. The civilian tragedy was (is still) horrific but neither side deserved overt support. In my opinion. And for good measure had the Syrian vote swung the other way the butchers now in Iraq would have been helped by the British military. The horrors in Iraq are quite different; the IS are barbaric murderous thugs using religion as an excuse for butchery and their chosen victims are civilians. Its not hard to work out which side needs help in this case.

Rocket Banana

As long as the Tornados go with plenty of Brimstone (£175,000 a pop) I’m happy.

May as well send a dozen Apache and a Commando to help with the “surveillance” too.

Mark
Mark

IMO there no different chris what the vote in syria was or should have been about was gassing women and children we knew who did it and they should have been taught a lesson and had the chemical weapons removed by any means necessary instead in turned into a willy waving contest to show how much labour is not Tony Blair and Iraq anymore.

Dangerous Dave

@Mark: The BBC’s use of the phrase “Tornado fighter-jets” nearly made me put the works van in a ditch on the way home last night! Presumably they have stopped calling them “bombers”, as they did in Afghanistan to allay fears that we might start bombing the sh*t out of the IS instead of flying ISTAR missions . . . . . gawd!

The Other Chris

Three Tornado’s being sent:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28758370

Mark
Mark

I see were now also considering deploying chinook helicopters, mission creep starting?

Did voyagers trail the tornados to Cyprus and will it support their missions?, Don’t know which tornado sqn these crews came from but they must be pretty stretched what with a sqn in afghan, one that’s just come back and the 3rd and final tornado sqn disbanding in 6 months.

Peter Elliott

Brings into focus the question of what happens to RAPTOR pod once Tornado goes out of service. Just the sort of opportunity the service chiefs must pray for to justify particular niche capabilities to their political masters.

Maybe the upgrade to Sentinel will provide something comperable? And maybe the example will also be used to promote multi-role capability on the P8?

Mark
Mark

“As part of our efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Iraq, we are sending a small number of Chinook helicopters to the region for use if we decide we need further humanitarian relief options,” a spokesman from Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said following a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/us-iraq-security-britain-idUSKBN0GC1R520140812

I assume this means we are going to be putting boots on the ground somewhere for force protection no way they’ll be carrying out sorties from Cyprus.

Phil

Well surely you’d need an extraction force if one goes down?

wf
wf

how exactly are they getting to Iraq? Israel/Jordan seems the most likely option, since if Turkey was sweet we’d be camped out at Incerlik, and Lebanon/Syria looks insane

Peter Elliott

Presumably there’s still ‘Theatre Reverve’ batallion at readiness in Cyprus? I guess they will be first up the ramp for hairy extraction missions.

As to basing Chinnoks it all depends on Turkey doesn’t it? Even if we are nominally forward based in Iraqi Kurdistan I can’t see it being practical or sustainable to be there without a degree of Turksish acquiesence or support. Presumably our secret squirrel diplomats are currently negotationg with Turkey what they will and won’t sign up for.

(As I recall the original plan for GW2 involved an American Division striking down into Iraq from the north. But the Turks wouldn’t play so they had to be shipped round to the Gulf which delayed everything by several weeks.)

Phil

Definitely won’t be Israel.

Not heard this news anywhere else.

Phil

(As I recall the original plan for GW2 involved an American Division striking down into Iraq from the north. But the Turks wouldn’t play so they had to be shipped round to the Gulf which delayed everything by several weeks.)

Also involved the UK division coming from the north. But that was binned and the ORBAT changed to include another light infantry brigade. If they do go they can’t be anywhere but Turkey or in North Iraq itself.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

@Phil – Think I just heard it on the BBC News, but no details…on the other, could they fly in from the Gulf?

GNB

Peter Elliott

Actually maybe the fact that we are exlicitly humanitarian rather than combatant means the Turks will let us in where they won’t allow the Americans? Then it just depends how elastic our definition of humanitarian can become. Get some men for Hereford on the ground dressed in Peshmerga outfits and no-one will know the difference…

Peter Elliott

One other thought: do we still have a Typhoon squadron on exercise is Turkey? Or have they gone home now?

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

@Thread – Are the Turks as touchy as they were at the time of GW2? They are on better terms with the Kurds, and Caliph Ibrahim represents a threat to them, at least in the medium term…but doesn’t have the same ability as Saddam to lash out…at least not yet. They might see it as being in their interests to allow the West to bolster Kurdistan in the hope of stabilising the next door neighbours…no benefit to them in both Syria and Iraq descending into chaos…

GNB

DavidNiven
DavidNiven

‘Chinook helicopters to the region for use if we decide we need further humanitarian relief options’

Good, now lets get the rest of Europe to send a few of their SH assets and get them off the mountain.

Chuck
Chuck

Got to be Turkey if you want to base close by surely. The American’s already pulled out of Balad last month after ISIS attacked it, so inside northern Iraq itself is pretty much out. Off the top of my head that’s about the only place you could do it, of course if you did they’d be back to attack again in the big way. Great Satan etc etc.

Kuwait would be another option(and most likely), but that’s nearly as far away as Cyprus when you’re talking about operating around Kurdistan, but plenty of refuelling etc nearby and much simpler overflight wise.

On overflights I’m guessing Turkey has acquiesced on that point seeing as the Tornado’s are going to Cyprus. Turkey has been pretty keen on NATO support(Patriot batteries etc) since Syria kicked off, so maybe the negotiations might a bit easier than GW2. We’re also dealing someone directly hostile to them this time.

Hannay
Hannay

@peter elliott

Theres been some talk of integrating the RAPTOR camera system onto Sentinel in the ventral pod. It would be slaved to the radar snd allow for investigation of radar targets on gmti rather than trying to use SAR. Ideally youd want a system fusing the radar and eo data into a single intelligence picture but I dont see this happeninh for the time Sentinel is left in service.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Hannay,

That’s a HUGE change to mission profile. Raptor is good, but still subject to Johnson criteria. This was looked at by DSTL a few years ago, means the aircraft needs to be lower and closer, that has big impacts on force packaging and EW/ECM, really all sorts of reasons why it’s a bit of a dodgy idea.

Apart from anything else, there’s about a gnat’s nadger of clearance left under Sentinel’s canoe for take off and landing, putting a Raptor pod under the belly is going to balls that up. Scraped up lenses and paint left decorating the runway centreline are not going to win you favour.

Mark
Mark

You wouldn’t put the raptor pod as is on sentinel its built from a tornado external fuel tank shape for tornado hence it name. I’m slightly surprised by the comments about dstl and needing the aircraft to fly lower, if you were considering putting optics on sentinel then you would talk nicely to the yanks and use a similar system to that on the U2 which flys much higher than a sentinel, perhaps the cameras for the pr9 are still floating about.

The Other Chris

Aye, Raytheon’s releases so far on Sentinel upgrades discuss making SWAP (Space, Weight and Power) available in the existing canoe after upgrading and consolidating communication equipment.

The DB-110 sensor is an ex U-2 sensor. Perhaps the lower altitude requirement for RAPTOR is due to limitations on a cuing radar? Would assume that the ASTOR would provide sufficient range for cuing at altitude?

Was there a digital camera upgrade for the PR9 before end of service or did they remain as ex U-2 wet film systems?

Chuck
Chuck

We’d want more than 3 Raptor pods surely? Just going from how much usage they seem to get.

The Other Chris

The RAF received 8 converted RAPTOR pods from Goodrich containing the DB-110 and related paraphernalia (with two ground stations).

Perhaps we’re sending 3 to Iraq because 5 are being cannibalised for the DB-110 to fit to the 5 Sentinel R1’s? Although that may be simply coincidental mathematics!

Chuck
Chuck

For some reason, I thought we only had 3 Sentinel, my mistake.

Mark
Mark

Might be one or two raptor pods in afghan toc.

DB110 has been trailed on reaper too I think. Mind you all the publicity surrounding the deployment of tornado has said they’ll be using the litening 3 pod with no mention from official sources there using raptor.

stephen duckworth

The Southeastern Anatolia Development Project (GAP in Turkish) controls the vast bulk of the water that create the Tigris, Euphrates,Khabur and Balikh rivers. It consists of 22 dams and 19 Hydroelectric Power Plants. This project has caused a lot of issues between Syria and Iraq proper as Turkey has plans to divert some of this water through a tunnel to the Harran plain to irrigate 1.7mn hectares of fields. This project is built in and benefits the Kurdish part of Turkey so despite the long term emnity with the Kurds they have been building bridges so to speak. A Turkish company built the new airport at the Kurdish capital Erbil with its 4800m runway amongst other projects.The Kirkuk–Ceyhan Oil Pipeline (1,600,000 barrel per day)that pumps Kurdish oil to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey is to be doubled in size .
The Turks will, I think , be pretty keen to assist their new allies.

The Other Chris

Fitting the three remaining RAPTOR pods to Reapers after five have been moved to the Sentinel could make sense once Tornado is retired:

http://www.spyflight.co.uk/falcon%20prowl.htm

mikezeroone

@ ToC

RAPTOR-lite?
Good spot, though what about recon in contested airspace?

We should revive DJRP for Typhoon, not as broad as RAPTOR, but then that would cover recon in contested airspace.

The Other Chris

I can’t take credit, Mark put me onto the Reaper trials a while back.

I’m only assuming RAPTOR pods would be cannibalised for the DB-110 for Raytheons Sentinel R1 upgrades and wondering what they’d do with the three left over.

Incidentally, TD was quite prophetic about DB-110 and Sentinel R1 back in 2011:

This needs to go on the Sentinel if and when it is saved from being cut up for razor blades

Think Defence , 29/12/2011

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/12/the-raytheon-db-110-sensor/

The Other Chris

Regards contested airspace, I think it goes back to the cuing question?

i.e.

ASTOR on Sentinel having the range for cuing the DB-110, which was a high altitude U-2 LOROP sensor.

For Reaper is the Lynx sufficient to provide long distance cuing?

The Other Chris

Flight Global report on the Tornado’s sent to Iraq are carrying Litening II rather than RAPTOR:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/more-details-emerge-on-raf-tornado-deployment-402639/

Repulse

Iraq crisis: UK ‘will play role’ in rescue mission, says PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28773445

Does this mean UK boots may be hovering very close to the ground…

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Iraqi aid helicopters going to that mountain are getting shot at. If we send Chinooks, will they need armed Apache escort?

Hannay
Hannay

@RT

I’m not sure that integration of the DB-110 sensor is that much of an issue as you suggest. You just have to accept that you can’t use it out to the full range of the radar, which is pretty obvious for any EO system. You’ve still got better than 0.1m resolution at 100nm+ which covers quite a lot of area – but not as much as the radar. I think you’d be more using it in the recognise and identify phases, cuing from radar tracks to make sure a track is what you think it is, and whether or not its hostile. You’re not going to identify a hilux with chaps with AKs in the back with the radar, but the DB-110 should give you this ability at shorter ranges.

@The Other Chris

The Lynx radar on Reaper is very low power-aperature and DB-110 outranges it by almost an order of magnitude. You’d more be using the DB-110 for imagery of fixed targets, or designated elsewhere (or having GPS coordinates supplied)

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy

@ JH – check the Court Circular to see if Captain Harry Wales has cancelled any planned public engagements…

GNB

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Hannay, it’s not the physical integration, it’s the software integration. It is probably 100s of thousand of lines of code, followed by full system checks.

And why bother when we already built in the need for ASTOR ground stations to be able to take in imagery direct from WATCHKEEPER, the crypto, comms, CONOPS and training for the IAs to do just that? Only not sitting in the back of the jet, but 4 times their number sitting in a ground station? It was one of the smarter things I think we did with both systems, both in procurement at the same time and both worked on by mostly the same Capability Development branches of both Air Command and Land Command.

It is slightly fetishic to expect one platform to do all jobs, when you need to think systemically. Let the comms bearers do the heavy data lifting, and the analysis and fusion happen in bigger teams in conditions more suited.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

….after all, 80% of the imagery analysts in the ASTOR system are employed in ground based roles, with massively better connectivity to the HQ they are supporting, real time links, networked into other feeds equally valuable, than the pair in the back of the aircraft and their Mission Commander.

The Other Chris

Trend is for sensor fusion though, more and more processing as close to the point of production as possible so that less data and more information is transferred over your limited bandwidth. Allowances for raw to be requested and streamed with more suppliers offering secure on board storage for retrospective analysis.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

TOC,

The trick is you have to know the art of the reasonably easily possible, and the art of the possible but bloody difficult.

I can’t recall the language the core ASTOR software is written in, but it predates object-oriented languages being widely used. Then you’ve got all of the difficulties of accreditation and having common codes of connection. Some of ASTOR is highly ITAR restricted, more difficulties there. Goodrich would want big money to provide source code to Raytheon, the air platform would need re-certifying in all flight envelopes, etc etc.

Seriously, when we already have a better solution, do you think this is affordable do-able before ASTOR goes out of service in 2018? Of course it is technically doable, but that is not the point.

Observer
Observer

The other problem sometimes with sensor fusion is that computers can sometimes be a bit too literal. Human analysts are a lot more flexible, though automation helps a lot.

I’ve had air photo maps, computer generated, that insisted that there was a route through a forest when I was literally staring at an impenetrable thicket on site.

Computers can sometimes be idiots. I’m sure we all have encountered that.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Observer, humans as well.

About 24 hours before GW1 kicked off, we had a despatch rider arrive at the Squadron Hq with a packet, to be personally signed for by me, as only I had the necessarily clearance. Turned out it was a packet of amazingly high res photos of Iraqi tank positions taken from overhead. ALL of the metadata and symbology you’d normally find around the edges, lat longs, date, north indicator etc was carefully blacked out in heavy pen. You couldn’t even get much idea from the shadows, as there was no time of day marked. I had upwards of 80 Iraqi positions marked up on the Ops map in the back of the Sultan CV, so which – if any – of the positions they were was completely unknowable. Useful?

Turns out the explanation was that a decision had been made to declassify the photos as we were a recce regiment going behind enemy lines, so prone to capture. Still, nice to have been thought of.

Hannay
Hannay

@RT

I definitely agree with you points about processing imagery on the ground through common ground stations. However, I think that an EO system like DB-110 would be highly useful for Sentinel as we’re tending to deploy it by itself to theatres without other support. Mali would be a good example (or Libya, or Iraq now) where it may have been useful to get imagery as well as radar tracks in order to build a better intelligence picture. Some of the time Watchkeeper or Reaper will be deployed alongside, but it seems likely that Sentinel will be there first and by itself.

Observer
Observer

RT, now that was helpful. :P

“Here’s the location of all the Iraqi tank positions on the objective.”
“Which objective?”
“No idea..”

Hannay, the problem with your theory is that it assumes analysis to take place on board the plane, which is most likely not the case, you don’t have room for an analysis staff on board. Most likely SOP is to pipe down the feed to ground stations where a whole staff gets to work on the problem, then if any anomaly is detected, they will ask the asset to make another more detailed pass to get “specific information required”. The people in the air are not the ones doing the analysis, only the collection, so they can’t do things on the fly because sometimes they will have no idea what they captured. This is similar to the old recon spy planes where they will make a pass over the target capturing lots of photos, then bring them down for processing. The pilot won’t know what was captured on photo, most likely he will never know.

The Other Chris

No idea what Raytheon use on ASTOR specifically. They normally advertise for Ada and C/C++ developers. There was a Simulink vacancy a while back so my guess would be Simulink modeling compiling down to C.

The DTT system for the MOD is largely Java.

Sentinel carries a mission crew as well as it’s onboard systems to process data into information for communication to the analysis crew. It’s not a purely computer based process.

Mark
Mark

There’s no reason why the sentinel cannot transition to a UK equivalent of a U2 type capbility but with the mission crew providing some onboard analysis and the rest being sat linked off board as is the case now. In the roles it’s being asked to undertake it’s more likely not to deploy with watchkeeper as it is to deploy with it. In one of the articles on the sentinel upgrade Raytheon are talking about complete replacement of the current onboard mission system.

The Other Chris

Good thought. RAPTOR maybe. Goodrich’s other DB-110 pods feature los comms in the material.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Now the BBC says that US special forces say the numbers on the mountain are not as high as first thought. Bet they still want to get to safety though.
Fierce critic of 0.7% GDP foreign aid that I am, I would like to see a RAF C-17 touch down in Kurdistan, with a full load of British made caravans for the displaced Yazzidis to live in.

The Other Chris

RAPTOR can also offload images in real time:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/raptor.cfm

EDIT: Daily Mail has an exterior shot of one of the two ground stations purchased with the pods:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1218437/The-fighter-jet-camera-read-time-Big-Ben-Isle-Wight.html

Perhaps the recce pod is being used because we don’t want to put the ground station on the, err, ground?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven

Iraq crisis: US says Mount Sinjar evacuation unlikely

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28783068

Hohum
Hohum

Sounds like this entire problem could be solved by installing a half decent EO turret under the nose of some of the RAF C-130s.

a
a

Turns out the explanation was that a decision had been made to declassify the photos as we were a recce regiment going behind enemy lines, so prone to capture.

“These photos must not fall into enemy hands. The consequences of the Iraqi army learning where the Iraqi army is would be catastrophic.”

Observer
Observer

Hohum, EO on a C-130 isn’t the problem, the real problem is that you don’t cart an office load of image analysts up there, so even if there was something interesting on the ground, the pilot still won’t know it until post-analysis. The only time the flight crew will know something is significant is if it is part of their mission brief (monitor activity from town A or House X etc).

stephen duckworth

@Hohum
You mean something like a USCG HC-130H whose crew of seven provide real time analysis of the data from their optical nose turret and search radar so they can respond immediately to anything they can find?
http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/lrs/features.asp

Hohum
Hohum

monkey,

No I don’t. I just mean an EO turret with a feed into the cockpit for either an existing crew member or one additional.

stephen duckworth

@Hohum
Like on the Chinooks?

Hohum
Hohum

Monkey,

Yes, like on the Chinooks.

Observer,

Not as an ISTAR asset, merely as a means of providing high definition all weather observation of the drop zone from the cargo aircraft.

Waylander
Waylander

Vid on Sol’s blog of RAF Chinooks, C-130Js, Tornado GR4s & Voyagers arriving at/operating from RAF Akrotiri http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/raf-chinooks-arrive-in-cyprus-to-help.html

Mark
Mark

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28807139

A BBC team has joined an RAF reconnaissance mission over Iraq to see how British Tornado aircraft are helping to plot Islamic State (IS) positions on the ground.

Mark
Mark

He added: “I can confirm today we have deployed Rivet Joint, our very latest surveillance aircraft, the successor to Nimrod, to give us a much better picture, more intelligence and analysis of what is happening on the ground which will help the Iraqi government, the Kurdish forces and the Americans.”

Mr Fallon was visiting the Cyprus base for the RAF’s aid drop operation.

http://news.sky.com/story/1319633/uk-expands-iraq-air-surveillance-operation

stephen duckworth

Cameron ” No boots on the ground ….”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28831248

↓