The Eastern Mediterranean is consistently under the scrutiny of numerous military assets. The reasons vary, and in addition to the presence of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean at Tartus, the Gaza crisis has now been added to the mix.
It is not surprising, therefore, to observe various military assets engaged in SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) missions in the region. This afternoon, we had an interesting example of what can be found in the area:
- A US Navy Boeing P-8A, taking off from NAS Sigonella, operated off the coast of Lebanon, orbiting for an extended period just outside the Beirut FIR (Flight Information Region).
- Another SIGINT mission involved a Royal Air Force Beech Shadow R.MK 1 (reg. ZZ418), which presumably operated (with the ADS_B transponder turned off) for about two hours in the area (the exact location is uncertain).
- An Israeli Air Force Gulfstream G550 Nachshon Oron (reg. 452) from the 122nd Tayeset Squadron is currently (as of 18:00 CET) conducting surveillance operations off the Israeli coast, similar to missions observed in the area in the past.