This morning, the skies over the central Mediterranean appeared particularly crowded. Numerous assets were operating in the area, probably not always on connected missions.
A Turkish presence in the area had already been observed a few days ago, and today a Turkish Air Force Boeing E-7T (reg. 13-004), departing from Konya AB, and a Turkish Navy ATR P-72A (c/s TURNA04), taking off from Antalya, operated in the zone.
The two Turkish aircraft flew while an Hellenic Air Force Embraer EMB-145 AEW&C (reg. 374) was already operating in the area, orbiting near the Greek FIR (this is a rather typical mission, possibly related to participation in the EU IRINI operation or the NATO “Sea Guardian”).
In front of western Libya, a US Navy Lockheed EP-3E (reg. 159887) operated, having taken off from Souda Bay AB. This is a mission that is regularly conducted and was already recorded last week.
Today’s novelty is certainly the aerial refueling mission carried out by a French Air Force Airbus A330MRTT (reg. F-UJCM), departing from Istres AB, off the coast of Libya. We don’t know which aircraft accompanied the French tanker, but it certainly wasn’t alone.
As of now (14:00 CEST), only the Turkish AWACS remains in the area.