Operation Chammal: Flying A Deep Reconnaissance Mission Aboard An Atlantique 2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

- Defense-Aerospace – Under the operational control of Adm Beaussant, GOC Indian Ocean Zone (ALINDIEN), the Atlantique 2 (ATL 2) acts to complement the Rafale combat aircraft and its Reco NG new-generation pod in the intelligence-gathering role. Both aircraft provide the forces with effective, long-range intelligence and reinforce their capability to independently gather and process tactical and strategic situations. The main mission of the ATL2 is to gather image (IMINT) and electromagnetic (ELINT) intelligence for the strategic (defence HQ), theater (ALINDIEN) and tactical (the Coordination Air Operation Center (CAOC) at Al Ubeid) echelons.

Triton, Poseidon, & UCLASS: The Navy’s ISR Balancing Act

- Breaking Defense – The future of Navy long-range reconnaissance, the recently arrived MQ-4C Triton drone, sprawls across its hangar here, with a wingspan 13 feet wider than a Boeing 737 but a body that’s 80 percent lighter. Designed for 24-hour-plus patrols at 50,000 feet, Triton still can’t do the job by itself, say both the program manager and the admiral in charge of all Navy drones. It will provide the high-altitude, theater-spanning coverage that cues more tactically-focused recon aircraft to zoom in (in both senses of the word). Primarily, that means the manned, land-based P-8 Poseidon and the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance & Strike (UCLASS) drone. That’s three tricky balls for the Navy to keep in the air at once, especially in a time of tightening budgets: