This morning, at 06:35 CEST, an USAF Boeing RC-135U (reg. 64-14847 – c/s HOMER11) took off from Souda Bay AB to conduct a surveillance mission over the Black Sea.
The aircraft is a variant of the C-135 Stratoliner that has been extensively modified for electronic intelligence (ELINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) gathering. It is equipped with a wide range of sensors that can detect, identify, and geolocate signals in the electromagnetic spectrum.
The RC-135U is used by the USAF to collect intelligence on a variety of targets, including foreign military forces, terrorist organizations, and weapons of mass destruction.
It then headed east, where it began to orbit off the coast of Lebanon and southern Syria.
The aircraft’s sensors were likely used to collect intelligence on the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean fleet, which is based in the port of Tartus, Syria.
Around 11:00 CEST, the aircraft completed its mission and headed back to Crete.