Navy ATL2 flying Libyan reconnaissance missions over Libya
July 27, 2011, French Navy Atlantique 2 joined the air detachment of
Suda (Crete) as part of Operation Harmattan. Usually deployed for anti-submarine
warfare and anti-ship missions, the maritime patrol aircraft proves
to be a valuable asset by conducting reconnaissance missions over the
ATL 2 based in Suda, Crete (picture: EMA/French Navy)
Its crew consists of fourteen
people. The captain, the pilot and two flight engineers are at the front
, while the tactical portion is composed of TACO (tactical coordinator),
radio operators, radar navigator and acoustic officer.
Acoustic officers role is to
gather and process the recordings and images during missions. To do so
they have a unique vantage point through the glass nose of the aircraft.
ATL 2 and French Air Force M2000N prepares for a mission from Suda,
An infrared camera also
allows them to see up to thirty kilometers around depending on weather
A single aircraft is on the Suda detachement to ensure all missions.
Each mission last 11 hours on average.
Atlantique II operate alongside the French air force day and night.