RobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3942 posts, RR: 19 Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5250 times:
They do have planes, I am not disputing that, but these are special mobile call monitoring planes. Those are not the Islanders afaik or are you saying that you've known your mobile calls have been monitored by these police planes for a long time already?
nomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1695 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 5126 times:
Ok. Maybe I'm unfamiliar with mobile phones in Britain, but what possible use would a plane like that be in intercepting modern digital phone calls? They'd be picking up dozens of cells at once and trying to sift one call out of thousands. It's hard enough when you're trying to do it off a single site. Not the sort of system you put on a Cessna.
In any case, I never had much sympathy for anyone dumb enough to think and call they make is private.
It is probably a F406 - a Cessna 404 type updated with PW PT-6 engines to make it closer to the Cessna 414 - built by Reims Aviation in Reims, France.
Cessna in the US ended production of twin piston/ twin turbo-prop aircraft about 20 years ago; however Reims continues to build new F406 aircraft today. One of their biggest sellers is a maritime surveillance version, not a big adaptation to use it for electronic surveillance.
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 4): but what possible use would a plane like that be in intercepting modern digital phone calls?
As you imply - there is no difficulty for police to intercept cell phone communications. As far as an aircraft - the purpose would be to collect transmissions for later analysis at ground stations.
Folks would be amazed how easy it is to target a single phone and intercept the signals from that phone. An aircraft would be very useful for a phone when the user is in a vehicle or other transportation source.
GCT64 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 1253 posts, RR: 1 Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4769 times:
The Nor Leasing Cessna F406s alleged in the article to be used for this are G-BVJT and G-TDSA (both registered to them and both based at Farnborough).
I had always wondered what those aircraft did, perhaps this article provides the explanation? (or perhaps not )