Friday, April 15, 2016

China May Be the Big Winner in the Pentagon’s Newest Spying Scandal

By Dan De Luce, Elias Groll, Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy
April 13, 2016

The secrets a U.S. Navy officer is suspected of slipping to China could ground America’s most important spy planes just when Washington needs them most.

The U.S. naval officer at the center of a burgeoning spy scandal may not have simply betrayed his country: He may have also helped China compromise Washington’s most-sophisticated tool for tracking Beijing’s submarines, ships, and planes.

The surveillance aircraft potentially exposed in the espionage case are America’s high-tech “eyes in the sky” in the western Pacific, the EP-3E Aries II and P-8A Poseidon, which are equipped with sensors and radar that allow them to scoop up the electronic communications of Chinese forces and monitor their movements.

The Aries, which has undergone significant upgrades in recent years, delivers “near real-time” signals intelligence and full motion video, according to the Navy. The aircraft’s sensors and dish antennas — their range is classified — can pick up distant electronic communications, allowing the U.S. military to pick up on any possible threats and eavesdrop on foreign militaries.

(More here.)

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