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Un escorted "surveillance flights..."

Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:48 am

With the numerous incidents over the years of various surveillance flights by various airforces around the world with the most current being the RAAF P8...

Would a fighter escort prevent these sorts of things happening in the future?

RAAF P8 with a a330 tanker and a couple of F18s as escort...

Flying through "international" airspace...
Anything that happens, wouldn't you be well within your rights to respond accordingly....

Would the aggressor be less likely to act as what we have seen???
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Re: Un escorted "surveillance flights..."

Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:54 am

It is a political escalation to send fighter planes and tankers. So while possible, this would usually escalate.

Look at the Rivet Joints and E8 Joint Stars flights over the black sea. It would be easy to shoot them down, but what would happen then is clear.
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Re: Un escorted "surveillance flights..."

Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:00 am

As long as they don't penetrate the national airspace of the belligerents, and function as non-combatants, they have a legal right to collect intelligence, under international law. Also the right of freedom of flight. They are sometimes harassed, but they cannot be diverted or interfered with under the law.

If they are armed, they become potential combatants, and if they are also within the air defence identification zone (ADIZ), they can be legally challenged and escorted out of the zone.

Thus providing armed escort, would be inviting intervention and removing the benefit of the surveillance flights.

The last reason is that in many cases, fighters lack the range and endurance to stay with the surveillance flights.
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Re: Un escorted "surveillance flights..."

Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:26 am

An armed escort would have prevented the incident with the P-8 recently. But as mentioned, it bring its own complication

Now, an unarmed escort using wingman drones would be a nice compromise. With AAR, the range and endurance would not be an issue. The Chinese pilot might have thought twice before trying that stunt if there was an increase risk of running into an unmanned drone escort.


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