Showing posts from January 13, 2013

Puma Goes to Sea (Again)

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Sept. 25, 2012) U.S. Navy Senior Chief Engineman Bradley Williamson, left, and Engineman 1st Class Michael Lamb assigned to Riverine Squadron Two, Detachment Three, conducts pre-flight checks on the Puma AE (Pointer Upgraded Mission Ability – All Environment) aircraft aboard Royal Fleet Auxiliary amphibious landing dock vessel RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009), as Royal Navy minehunter HMS Shoreham (M112) operates nearby. The U.S. Navy is currently testing Puma AE for land and shipboard operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). U.S. 5th Fleet's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command AOR. (Royal Navy photo/Released) Continuing a recent string of articles on unmanned air vehicles, this month's US Naval Institute's Proceedings features an article (member

Unmanned ISR and Future Air Wing Composition

According to Defense News , the U.S. Navy's inventory of manned intelligence, surveillance, and reconaissance (ISR) platforms - land-based P-3 Orion and EP-3 Aries - will be cut by more than a quarter over the next few years.  The current consolidations are not the first time in recent history the Navy has trimmed ISR capability.  As late as  the 1990s, a typical carrier air wing deployed with a number of organic platforms capable of collecting intelligence, including tactical aircraft such as the F-14 with the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) and ES-3A Shadows for electronic signals intercept (ELINT).  These aircraft were supplemented by a robust ground-based P-3 fleet along with numerous FLIR and radar capable helicopters on smaller cruisers and destroyers. Today's remaining manned aircraft, such as the venerable, but still effective, P-3s are today often found flying over-land missions in support of  counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.