New U.S. Spy Plane to Be in Afghanistan by Christmas

The new plane will support ground troops with still images, video and eavesdropping

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are getting a new tool in their fight against terrorism in the form of a spy plane that will provide ground troops with still images, video and eavesdropping, Bloomberg reported.

The first of the 24 new Hawker Beechcraft four-man twin-propeller plane is expected to arrive by Christmas — one month ahead of schedule, Lt. General David Deptula said in an e-mail, Bloomberg reported.

In April 2008, the planes were ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to up the number of manned and unmanned aircraft collecting intelligence data, and will now be used to help support the 30,000 troops Obama ordered to Afghanistan.

The plans have the capability to send images and video directly to ground troops, who will have portable computers that will let them see the images, Bloomberg reported.

They will also help provide 24-hour video that is now provided by unmanned  drones.