Braniff747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0 Posted (14 years 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1144 times:
The Navy EP-3 being held by the Chinese is consistently referred to as a "Spy" plane.
Isn't this really a "surveillance" plane? I have always thought of a true spy plane as one designed to intentionally invade hostile airspace and avoid defenses, ala the U-2 and SR-71/A-12. How could a lumbering 4-engine turboprop be considered a spy plane?
Are the RC-135s flying out of Kadena "spy" planes too?
Bombstar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1020 times:
The EP-3 is used on recon flights, and has advanced electonic equiptment that listens to wireless communications and other things. I think most people mistake the EP-3 as an AWACS type plane, but with that type of equiptment on board, i would call it spying.
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1016 times:
I would say it becomes a spy plane when the data/information being gathered is not freely broadcasted, secret, or restricted in some way (hidden, encrypted, etc.) Such an example would be taking a picture of an airfield. This would be surveillance, yet trying to take pictures of secret activities going on at this airfield would be spying. This works out with the legal/illegal flying...if they must illegally fly in airspace, then they are being restricted from information and therefore spying and not just gathering information.
Chdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (14 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1012 times:
Spying generally refers to illegal or covert collection of data. The EP-3 simply monitors, openly I might add, the transmissions of its intended subject. It doesn't reach in and steal anything, it merely collects what is already there. Are the people who listen to ATC on a scanner spies?
If you don't want someone to see in your house, you close the curtains. A spy is one who tries to get inside the house. Surveillance is watching the curtains to see the shadows.
On the other side of the coin, I also see where Gunfighter6 is coming from, in that the perception of the incident comes from which side of the wall you are on.
Planeshot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 988 times:
Have to agree with the media angle...makes more people pay attention when the term 'spy plane' is used, although the EP-3 is merely a sponge, soaking up the EM band for any interesting data....a lot like the term 'stealth fighter' as applied to the F-117A. Those of us in the know about that plane refer to it correctly as a 'stealth strike aircraft' as it has no gun or missiles in which to go on the offensive or to even defend itself were it to be jumped by hostile forces....