‘Flying Intelligence Shop’

Manned spy plane scores points in war effort

The MC-12 is a Hawker Beechcraft 350 with a camera that can supply video to troops on the ground and sensors that can intercept enemy communication. The crew consists of two pilots, an airman who operates the sensors and a cryptologist who analyzes the intelligence the plane scoops up.

MC-12 crews have flown more than 2,000 missions in Iraq, Air Force records show. The first aircraft arrived in Afghanistan last December.

MO posted on the MC-12 last June:

The first MC-12 Liberty aircraft in-theater lands here at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time June 10 after its first combat sortie. The Air Force\'s newest ISR platform, the MC-12 is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turbo prop aircraft designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The aircraft will operate from here in direct support of coalition and joint ground forces. Photo by Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca

The first MC-12 Liberty aircraft in-theater lands here at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time June 10 after its first combat sortie. The Air Force's newest ISR platform, the MC-12 is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turbo prop aircraft designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The aircraft will operate from here in direct support of coalition and joint ground forces. Photo by Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca

And more background here.

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