EP-3 or 'Iron Clad'?
While referred to as an EP-3, initial reports concerning this incident do
not specifically identify the type of US aircraft involved. Jane's analysis
suggests that it is either a Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II signals
intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft or a Lockheed Martin 'Iron Clad' P-3 covert
EP-3E Aries II
The US Navy's EP-3E Aries II aircraft is a long-rang, tactical and
strategic, SIGINT platform based on the P-3C Orion maritime reconnaissance
airframe. Normally flown by a crew of 20, the type is in service with Fleet
Electronic Reconnaissance Squadrons VQ-1 and VQ-2 that are home-based at
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington State, and Naval Station Rota,
Spain, respectively. If the aircraft involved in the described incident is
an EP-3E, it is most likely to belong to VQ-1 and to have originated from
the squadron's detachment at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
Capable of collecting both radar and communications intelligence, the US
Navy currently operates 11 EP-3Es with an additional example planned to
replace the aircraft that crashed at Souda Bay on Crete during September
1997. Equipment carried by the EP-3E includes the AN/ALD-9(V)
direction-finder, the AN/ALR-76 radar band electronic support system, the
AN/ALR-81(V) receiver system and the OE-319 and OE-320 antenna groups. A
fuller description of the EP-3E Aries II aircraft can be found in Jane's
Electronic Mission Aircraft.
'Iron Clad' P-3
The US Navy's 'Utility Patrol' Squadrons VPU-1 (Brunswick, Maine) and VPU-2
(Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii) operate a small number of 'Iron Clad' P-3B and P-3C
aircraft that are configured for covert, multi-sensor surveillance.
Externally very similar to their maritime reconnaissance cousins, the 'Iron
Clad' aircraft are reported as being equipped with a sensor suite that, over
time, has included SIGINT, acoustic recording and analysis and chemical
analysis equipment together with optical and electro-optical cameras. A
fuller description of the 'Iron Clad' programme can be found in Jane's
Electronic Mission Aircraft.
The `Iron Clad' (formerly known as 'Reef Point' (to mid-1997) and then
'Storm Jib' (mid-1997 to 1999) platform is a covert US Navy (USN)
intelligence gathering system that, as of Issue 7, has been identified as
being installed aboard a small number of Lockheed Martin P-3B or P-3C
maritime patrol airframes. So configured, such platforms are reported to
have been variously designated as P-3B(RP)/P-3C(RP) and/or (E)P-3B/(E)P-3C
aircraft. The 'Iron Clad' architecture is understood to incorporate
'sophisticated communications' systems (including satellite links) together
with a range of sensors that includes (or has included)
electronic/communications intelligence, acoustic analysis/recording,
chemical detecting and electro-optical (visible light and infra-red
domains)/optical surveillance systems. At an earlier stage in the
capability's history, a nuclear particulate `sniffer' is reported to have
been included in the suite, a capability that appears to have been removed
with the ending of the forty year 'Cold War' between the US and the former
Soviet Union. Specific sensors that have been associated with the `Iron
Clad' platform comprise the following:
Hmm, sounds a but like what the chinese embasy in Belgrade was operating.
Janes had a nice article discussing why most of the GPS guided JSOWs missed
in the last attack on Iraq. The wind may well have blown them off course,
but its far more likely that Chinese and Serbian technicians helped jam
their guidance systems.
(212) 372 3829
"Why is the moon more important than the sun?"
"Because we need the light more at night!"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam L. Beberg [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 2:45 PM
> To: mec
> Cc: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Bush conspiracy
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, mec wrote:
> > Thank you for being so much more eloquent than I. Plus,
> regarding the
> > subversive exchange of technology in the China incident... hightech
> > spyware given up for focus on the wellbeing of military
> lives... much
> > more media-friendly than the Iran-Contra scenario, dontcha think?
> We all know that China already knows how the plane works, my
> roomie actually
> rode in one when he was in ROTC (he says it does in fact stear like a
> tanker, china hit it on purpose) so it's not like they are
> top secret, or
> even mildly secret anymore. Hell the plane probably has a
> "Made in china by
> child labor" tag on it somewhere.
> This is an instance of saber rattling, nothing more.
> - Adam L. "Duncan" Beberg
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 29 2001 - 20:25:28 PDT