[Photo] Inside a spooky U.S. Army King Air 300 over Afghanistan, performing counter-IED. At night.

Released by the RC-East, the following cool images provide an out of the ordinary view of the cockpit of a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System King Air 300 flying a mission over Paktika Province, Afghanistan, on Jan. 18, 2013.

The quasi-civilian King Air 300 (similar to the U.S. Air Force MC-12W) is a manned platform operated by the U.S. Army to perform ELINT (Electronic Intelligence), COMINT (Communication Intelligence), direction finding as well as Full Motion Video broadcasting to the tactical commanders on the ground.

Known as MARSS, Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, these Army planes are used for counter-IED operations: they fly overwatch sorties along travel routes ahead of ground convoys to detect any suspect insurgent activity or side bomb sign.

Intensively used in Iraq to target the most wanted individuals among the insurgents, in Afghanistan they operate in in support of Task Force ODIN (Observe Detect Identify and Neutralise).


Image credit: RC-EAST


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.