Rare video of U.S. spyplane used to track high-value and time-sensitive targets, including people

May 29 2013 - 3 Comments

The following video shows an MC-12W Liberty of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing during a mission over Afghanistan.

Although scarcely known, the MC-12W is one of the most valuable U.S. ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) platforms: it is used to supports ground forces tracking high-value and time-sensitive targets, including people, as well as provide tactical intelligence and airborne command and control for air-to-ground operations.

Indeed, the MC-12W, that took part to the last Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base in February 2013, is a spyplane specialized in “find, fix, and finish” bad guys.

IMG_4500

The footage is particularly interesting as scenes not only include take off and recovery ops but also interior of aircraft, Wescam sensors, night operations, operators and tactical systems operators: a rare glimpse inside such a rare, spooky bird.

Note the HD live video provided to the sensors operators on board the Liberty by the aircraft’s Wescam camera.

The MC-12W is a military version of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 and Super King 350ER: the U.S. Air Force plane was given a full array of sensors, a ground exploitation cell, line-of-sight and satellite communications datalinks, along with a robust voice communications suite.

The aircraft is equipped with an electro-optical infrared sensor and other sensors as the mission requires. The EO/IR sensor also includes a laser illuminator and designator in a single sensor package. The MC-12 system is capable of worldwide operations.

It lacks only weapons. At least for the moment….

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  • OG_Locc

    Pretty neat.

    One question though: What’s a ground exploitation cell?

    • big john ok

      basically real time video and intel disseminated directly to troops or small unit operations that are underway on the ground.

  • arrond

    OG; think HumInt cell.