Is this really a spy plane?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Carlo G, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Carlo G

    Carlo G New Member

    Look so big and bulky for me. More like a cargo plane.

  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    P-3 Orion, a USN ASW patrol plane, mostly, but when you cram in enough electronics and operators it works really good at sniffing the other guy's electo-communications emissions. Long range, long endurance. Of course, not the plane of choice for flying over the other guy's actual real estate or even in his identified territorial air space, but cruising along the perimeter is usually uncontested.
  3. Agrippa

    Agrippa New Member

    Anything that flies, can be made into an intel gathering platform. The Soviets thought that the Korean Airlines 747 was spying so they shot it down. Today, unmanned aircraft and even what would look like toy radio-controlled planes can be outfitted with camera's and listening equipment and used to 'spy' on the enemy. The more innocent looking it is, the better it is for intelligence gathering. Don't let the looks fool you.
    The P3 Orion, which looks like the C-130 Cargo plane, is primarily used for anti-submarine, coastal patrol and interdiction. Of course, it can also gather maritime and naval intelligence and direct naval and coast guard surface assets to targets.
  4. crj

    crj New Member

    Looks more like a cargo plane to me as well. But anyway.
    This x2
  5. Carlo G

    Carlo G New Member

    You're spot on, Agrippa. ;)
  6. novasparker

    novasparker New Member

    This can't really be a spy plane could it? Or is it something as simple as hiding something in plain sight? I guess that anything could be used to gather intelligencec, just as Agrippa said...but it would be strange to me to thing that in the day and age of cutting edge technology that anyone would put something so cumbersome up in the air to gain intelligence.
  7. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    Yes it is! Any aircraft can be outfitted as a spy plane. They used the bird dog, a single engine prop plane, in WWII for recon. You'd be surprised at what they used for recon in today's world of technology.
  8. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    Remember the big flap about 10 years or so back when a Chinese fighter plane collided with a USN reconnaissance plane (or, I suppose, if you are Chinese, a US "Spy Plane")? Chinese fighter crashed and the pilot lost; the USN plane was forced to seek an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield with engine damage. What followed was couple of weeks of diplomatic comedy before the crew released from Chinese custody, the plane was finally taken apart and loaded in pieces aboard some heavy lifter transports and hauled back to the US. Remember all that? The USN plane was the same basic type as the picture in the OP, a variation of USN Lockheed P-3 Orion . . . a perfectly acceptable "spy plane," an EP-3 . . . the designation spells it all, E = Electronic, P = Patrol. So, there they were, minding their own business just cruising along over the South China Sea and, crunch, they get bashed for no reason by a Chinese PLAF fighter . . . Of course, what they were really doing was eavesdropping on the Chinese, something to which the Chinese seemed some exception.

    or, if you are really bored . . .
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  9. RcNu

    RcNu Member

    True. They probably have all sorts of cameras on there.
  10. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I'm quite sure they do! I can see any aircraft being retrofitted as a spy plane. They even use F-18's for recon purposes.
  11. groundhugger

    groundhugger Member

    Yes it is ! similar converted civil Aircraft are used by most airforces around the world in one form or another , if there good enough to fly all over the globe with people eating and dining ,sleeping like babes , what better carriage to carry delicate frequency scanners ans electronic gizmo's .
  12. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Almost any plane can be a "spy plane". Look up KAL-007 (yes, that was a real designation), a South Korean commercial airliner which was being used as a "spy plane" when it was shot down.

    During WWII blimps were used by the US Navy to hunt for U-boats. Piper Cubs were used as spy planes. Almost anything can be used as spy planes.

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