Royal Saudi Air Force E-3
Arriving on Sunday 28th April 2013 was Royal Saudi Air Force E-3A Sentry 1804. The E-3 departed on Tuesday 30th April 2013 for the US where it would undergo maintenance. 1803 passed through Mildenhall for the same reason in January 2013.
USAF RC-135U Combat Sent
RC-135U 64-14849 arrived in the UK on the 27th February and rather than transiting onwards it was handed over the 95th RS who flew it for a rather staggering three months before it departed back to the US of the 31st May.
USAF AC-130U Spooky
A pair of AC-130U gunships on their way back to the US from deployment arrived at RAF Mildenhall on the 2nd June for a night stop. Both departed the next day.
USN P-3C Orion
The P-3 Orion isn’t a visitor usually seen at Mildenhall but with Naval Station Rota closed for June these aircraft from VP-40 transitted through Mildenhall on their way back to the US after deployment. Both arrive on the 2nd June and left on the 3rd June.
One of the P-3Cs was fitted with the Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) pod – the large canoe on the belly of the aircraft. The system was originally developed as a black project to track small ocean vessels but has more recently been put to use to track objects over land, in a similar role to the J-STARS, as part of the war on terror. A version of the system is reportedly being developed for the P-8A Poseidon which is replacing the P-3. Since the P-3s were part of a rotation and there is a limited number of LSRS pods, it would seem this pod is either being returning to the US for overhaul or is no longer needed in theatre.
USAF RC-135V Rivet Joint
Yet another rotation was this RC-135 that arrived on the 3rd June, again the 95th RS took the chance to fly it before it departed.
USAF RC-135V 64-14843
US Army RC-12X Guardrail
This RC-12X based at Wiesbaden in Germany arrived on the 4th June.