Global Hawk Drone and E-8 JSTARS May Be Helping the Libya Fight

Adm. Samuel Locklear III gave a teasing glimpse at the ISR aircraft being used to support the air war in Libya today when he acknowledged that E-8 JSTARS radar jets and RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drones are likely on scene.

While he refused to give details of all the different aircraft on station, Locklear said during a press conference today; “I’m not going to give you a lay down of our ISR forces as they go over the country of Libya but I can assure you that for us, and the coalition, that we have moved sufficient ISR assets into the theater; that include some of the ones that you have mentioned.” Locklear was responding to a reporter’s asking if ISR planes such as the E-8 or Global Hawk have been deployed there.

Both the JSTARS and Global Hawks have powerful radars that are used to spot moving targets on the ground or take synthetic aperture radar snapshots of targets. You can bet these have been very useful in halting the advance of Gadhafi’s ground forces. Earlier this month we saw how Air Force Global Hawks are mapping the damage from the killer earthquake in Japan.

These come in addition to the E-3 AWACS that have been patrolling Libyan skies for weeks now.

Oh, and don’t forget that the Navy’s P-3 Orion sub-hunters and EP-3 Aries are also on scene. Some of the P-3s are equipped with similar radars as the JSTARS that can be used to scan the surface of the sea or large swaths of ground for targets.

Also, interestingly, you’ll note that among the RAF’s contingent of planes participated in the campaign, its Lockheed L-1011 Tristar-based tankers are listed as performing ISR missions here. Anyone heard of this before? I’ve seen that the Tristars were used as tankers for the Libyan ops but not as reconnaissance planes.

  • wayne

    I think what they mean by the Tristars performing ISR just means that the crew will be using their binoculars during their missions.

  • DLP

    “Helping”?
    Helping who?
    The Western Imperialism to make Middle East and North Africa colonies agains?

  • Adam

    god I hope the crew are ok, but I have to ask……… why are we bombing another 3rd world knuckle dragging country just to change the leader. If gadaffi goes what other idiot will take over? we know the current leadership we won’t know the next. Personally I am sick and tired of paying more for everything everytime some western countries try to take the media off domestic issues by bombing a country. As for the terrorism thing I can promise you the same people asking for NATO air support there are the same flag burning fanatics we see on the news every week screaming death to the west it will never end! We need to find somewhere else to get oil so we can let these pepole kill each other, they were nothing before the west got there

  • Huh, now Libya? The American military was only good for one thing, terrorizing and invading third world countries. Our soldiers are shameful and devoid of honor. Like sheep, they are led to slaughter over lies. We never found Osama. There were no WMDs.

  • adam

    the soldiers are heroes, the politicians are as your insults imply

  • WHAT

    Are Global Hawks capable of carrying missiles and bombs just like Predators and Reapers? For years, I’ve yet to see photos of these drones armed with weaponry.

    • j.h.

      Global Hawks fly too high to be armed.
      They are essentially replacements for U-2s.

  • Skysoldier173

    Stopping armor is going to be the big problem. There can’t be many strategic targets left, so killing the Kernel’s army is gonna be the mission. Col.Q is crazy and needs killin. Heres the chance. Get it done coz support for this is questionable it seems from Congress. Screw-’em kill Col. Q!!

  • staffsergeant

    Isn’t it funny that no one is telling us who the rebels are in Lybia. All we know maybe they are terriorists that we are supporting. It might be a move to outst Gaddafi. This could be true seeing we have been supporting terriorists for many years now.

  • Mac101

    If the west remove Gaddafi from power who do we think will fill the void the jihadis and terrorist can the west realy afford a nother Islamic state hostile to the west.

  • Put.put.bang.fly

    Binladin is looking for something to do….maybe he’ll take over

  • Samoyed

    The correct way to do this would have been like we started in Afganistan. Spec forces organizing rebels and designating targets with our air and their rebels doing the fighting. I would not be surprised if we or other allies had peeps on the ground trying to organize and figure out who the “rebels” are.

  • jerry

    who took the polls on for or against Kaddafi in Libya ? Or does Barack just have a feeling.