At least two US Army RC-12X Guardrail aircraft equipped with a specialized system to provide multi-mission electronic surveillance support have conducted what appears to be a spy mission in Lithuania near the Belarusian border, according to FlightRadar 24.
According to data from the flight tracking service, two Guardrail RC-12X aircraft, carrying US Army registration 92-13120 and 93-00701, are conducting their series of surveillance missions over Lithuania in the border areas with the United States. Belarus in the midst of an unprecedented escalation of tensions in the region.
Guardrail, also known as Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS), is a special electronic mission aircraft that has provided critical air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (AISR) capabilities.
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RC-12X Guardrail systems are designed to provide tactical commanders with the most timely, accurate and relevant tactical signal intelligence, or SIGINT. Intelligence collected during Guardrail missions is sent back to analysts operating in ground stations outside hostile areas.
The GRCS Support Fleet consists of 14 multi-combat mission aircraft commands and five training platforms. In fiscal 2018, the economic useful life of the GRCS mission aircraft was extended to 2034.
The GRCS sensor capability produces high-precision COMINT (Communications Intelligence) and Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) for battlefield mapping of common and modern signals of interest for detection, identification and geolocation of known threats. The processing, exploitation and dissemination capabilities of the Distributed Common Ground – Army (DCGS-A) Operational Ground Station (OGS) system allow the exploitation and reporting of the signal in real time, ensuring the predominance of information to commanders.