Air International 2014-04
N.Graf, D.Isby - The Old New & Untested /Military/
B-2 Spirit 88-0328 'Spirit of Texas’ leaving Nellis.
E-3G Block 40/45, serial number 75-0557/’OK’, the latest version of the US Air Force Boeing E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft participated in Red Flag 14-1.
An EP-3E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft like the one in the picture participated in many of the night missions during Red Flag 14-1. The EP-3E at Nellis was configured to Spiral 3 standard which incorporates low-band communication system upgrades, new antenna arrays, and systems used for information operations, which may have been employed for the Red Flag mission scenarios.
A P-3C Orion (similar to the example shown) thought to be a Block Modification Upgrade Program-plus standard aircraft, carrying an AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS), also participated in Red Flag 14-1. The LSRS is used to track small targets on land or sea and is able to gather synthetic aperture radar-type images of the targets for analysis. The battle scenarios staged at night during Red Flag 14-1 would have provided ample opportunity to employ the system for target identification.
EA-18G Growler BuNo 166642/’DD500’ (c/n EA-2) was the second prototype built and is currently operated by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31 (VX-31) ‘Dust Devils’ based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. Its continued operation configured as a test-bed aircraft fitted with the latest systems is the most likely reason for its participation in Red Flag 14-1.
Also participating in Red Flag 14-1 were two veteran EC-130H Compass Call aircraft. Once pioneers in electronic attack tactics, and used extensively in combat over Afghanistan and Iraq to counter insurgent activity, today the aircraft are back to their primary mission - suppression of enemy air defences. In previous Red Flag exercises Compass Calls have alternated between the Blue and Red force to enable each side to function in an electronic warfare environment.