Skip to comments.Iraq's ‘Eye in the Sky’ Safeguards Voters
Posted on 01/31/2009 9:08:08 AM PST by SandRat
BAGHDAD Flying high above Baghdad, the Iraqi Air Force demonstrated its capability to view polling stations and other potential critical-incident locations in preparation for the upcoming Provincial Elections.
This eye in the sky is a sensor system, similar to that of a U.S. Predator UAV, down-linked for display into the Iraqi Prime Ministers National Operations Center.
The demonstration of this capability was conducted for the Iraqi National Security Advisor, Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, other senior Government of Iraqi officials, and Coalition military advisors, Jan. 28.
The demonstration was designed to showcase the functional capability of the Iraqi Air Forces King Air 350 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft to provide real-time surveillance and full-motion video to support decision-making in the PM-NOC.
The King Air 350 is new to the Iraqi Air Force. It represents a substantial leap forward in Iraqs ability to provide aerial surveillance to support civil and military operations across the country.
The twin-engine turboprop aircraft boasts a crew of three, including a dedicated sensor operator, over six hours endurance, and a radius in excess of 1,000 nautical miles. The Iraqi Air Forces five King Air 350 ISR aircraft operate from the 87th Squadron, headquartered at New Muthana airbase in Baghdad.
There are also four fixed ground stations, or downlink sites, located throughout Iraq, and five mobile ground receivers in the Iraqi Air Force. These mobile ground receivers provided the link into the PM-NOC during Wednesdays event. The demonstration highlighted the aircrafts ability to display full-motion video through the airplanes 360-degree electro-optical sensor to the mobile ground receiver.
In addition to the video capability, the system also provides an infrared sensor, synthetic aperture radar imaging capability, and Ground Moving Target Indicator capabilities to detect moving vehicles. With this capability, Iraqs top national security leadership and other decision makers now have a system to provide real-time, accurate information, to help make better decisions when responding to crisis events, or conducting military and civil operations.
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Chuck Pratt, an intelligence advisor with Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraqs Intelligence Transition Team, commented on the advanced capabilities of the King Air 350.
We envision the Iraqi Air Force using this system to support Military or Police Operations Centers, or, for example, with the Iraqi Navy, supporting maritime security operations and oil platform defense in the northern Arabian Gulf, he said. We also need to network the ground stations so information can be viewed where it is needed.
MNSTC-Is efforts in this operation help to highlight the commitment between the governments of the United States and Iraq in improving the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces during the critical transition from Coalition to Iraqi-led operations in support of a secure and stable Iraq.
Great to see this new democracy up and functioning using such technology. But I am a little nervous. Didn’t we help the Shah of Iran? Didn’t we help Osama Bin Laden vs the Ruskies, training and arming them?
Fair elections are a thing of the past in America. They are now only perfunctory operations predestined for one (The One) outcome.
Please, please expand your sources of information beyond CNN and 60 Minutes.
No. Liberal myth playing upon Americans' guilt complexes. CIA funded native mujahideen. ISI might've redirected some CIA money to the Arab muj, but it's far more likely that most of the Arabs simply paid their own way. Osama is independently wealthy, after all, and Saudi Arabia was just as involved in the covert Afghan war as anyone else.
As for this aircraft, what possible threat could it represent to the US or US interests? It's a low-speed, low-altitude, fairly low-loiter reconnaissance aircraft with no armament or stealth capabilities. I have no doubt it's really good at what it does, but it doesn't do anything to be nervous about.
On that note, I recommend Steve Coll's Ghost Wars. A bit dry, but very honest. You'd think Coll's MSM credentials would have popularized the book more than it was, but it just didn't support the liberal narrative of Afghanistan.
I like the “Eye in the Sky” part. Just what we need here.</sarc>
Are you saying that the US did NOT:
1) train bin Laden’s forces
2) provide arms (sold or given)?
Your assumptions are wrong and condescending. If you know so much, enlighten us with facts and references. I asked a question.
No worries as democracies don’t war on each other.
What arms did we provide Bin Laden with?
According to an AP article in the Washington Post, “U.S. Sent Guns to Bin Laden in 1980s,” Washington Post, 10/16/01, we provided guns.
Yes, the timing was counter patriotic but I suspect the headline at least somewhat factual.
Really? I suspect the headline is a stinking lie.
Yes, at the time bin Laden was fighting the Russians
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