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Civilian (Looking) Spy Planes

by John Reed on June 22, 2011

There are more than a few small, civilian-looking planes here equipped with at least one sensor package. I snapped these photos as this plane was being towed through the aircraf display area. You can clearly see the sensor ball mounted under the nose of the plane. This is showing just how compact, and probably inexpensive airborne ISR gear is becoming. On of the major concerns I’ve heard everyone from USAF generals to think tank-types worry about is the proliferation of lightweight yet highly effective ISR gear. I’ve heard several people say ‘just imagine a terrorist group flying a civilian plane equipped with a sensor package over southern lebanon where they could peer into Israel.’ I’ve personnaly flown in a PC-12 equipped with a FLIR sensor package that allowed us to clearly read ship’s names from nearly 30-miles away as we flew over the English Channel. 

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