Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fancy US Spy Plane Will ... Spy ... on North Korea

The Nuclear Security Summit is coming up this week, and the United States has decided to watch the North Koreans extra carefully for the event.

The U.S. and South Korea plan to deploy a high-powered American surveillance aircraft to watch North Korea during the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on March 26-27.

The E-8C J-STARS is capable of tracking hundreds of vehicles, military installations and missiles simultaneously within a 200 to 500 km area. "By flying over the demilitarized zone, the aircraft can get a clear picture of North Korean troop movements around Pyongyang and Wonsan and even beyond," a military source said. 
While AWACS surveillance planes monitor aircraft and other airborne targets, the J-STARS handles targets on the ground.

The J-STARS has a wingspan of 44.2 m and is 46.6 m long. It can stay airborne for up to 11 hours at a time and monitor an area about five times the size of the Korean Peninsula for eight hours.
This just makes me wonder... what do the United States do the rest of the time?  They just have satellites watching and tracking their military's movements?  How much better can this plane be than a satellite?  Also... why is this public news and why is it announced?  Is it advantageous to the United States that North Korea knows this so it acts as a deterrence?


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