It is not uncommon to see a P-72A carry out a patrol mission on the central Mediterranean but usually the route followed by the aircraft we can only assume because the ADS-B transponder is disconnected and therefore we do not have the real tracking of the mission.
Yesterday, however, an Italian Air Force ATR P-72A (reg. MM62281 – callsign IAM4101) departed Sigonella BAB didn’t switched off the ADS-B transponder (forgetfulness?) and allowed us to follow the entire mission.
This was divided into two parts, the first the aircraft operated off Misrata while in the second part it orbited for a long time off Benghazi (see below).
In both cases the aircraft was inside the Tripoli FIR but outside Libyan airspace / territorial waters.
We do not know exactly what the nature of the mission was but it may be that, above all, the second part was linked to the need to provide protection to the Italian fishing boats operating in the area.