Transiting multiple European airports, a new USSOCOM secretive Beech 300 series aircraft has arrived in Iraq
Having left Canadian Force Base Goose Bay (Nfl, Canada), crossing the pond for Keflavik (Iceland) on 20 December 2020, a new Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Beech King Air 350i, with registration N503DE, arrived as "CROOK23" at Erbil air base (Iraq) just before Christmas.
After Keflavik, the ISTAR King Air (N503DE, construction number FL-1051) made stops at Belfast International Airport (Northern Ireland), RAF Brize Norton (UK), Palermo International Airport (Italy), RAF Akrotiri (Cyprus) and an unknown airport near Amman (Jordan), before landing at Erbil on 23 December 2020.
United States Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) latest acquisition is normally owned by Nevada based Straight Flight, a subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The SNC aircraft are mainly operating in civilian outfits and do not have any visible US DoD markings.
The Iraq based ISTAR Beech 300 series with different ISTAR lumps and bumps attached, are believed to be operating for USSOCOM. Nowadays, USSOCOM uses an extensive variation of aircraft for the SOCOM Tactical Airborne Multi-sensor Platform (STAMP) project.
Known Beech 300s operated by Straight Flight Nevada Commercial Leasing LLc. are:
N356ER, N358ER, N503DE, N1112B, N60125, and N6147U
Photos: Gavin (GH@BHD) and Kev Daws / Graphic: Flightradar24 via le bloa laurent