Raytheon's Latest King Air Mod Comes Out of the Shadows
Raytheon Systems Ltd. (RSL) has revealed details of the Shadow R1, a modification of the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER that was done in the UK as an urgent operational requirement for the UK Royal Air Force. The four aircraft were delivered last year without fanfare to No 5. squadron, which also operates the five Sentinel R1 (Astor) surveillance jets provided by RSL. They have since been deployed to Afghanistan. RSL, a wholly owned British subsidiary of Raytheon, said that it leveraged its Astor experience to integrate 21 mission systems on the Shadow R1. These included an L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared sensor, “integrated intelligence-gathering sensor systems,” line-of-sight and satcom datalinks and a 360-degree self-protection suite. The cabin contains three operator workstations and can accommodate another two mission personnel. There are two pilots. RSL has also provided in-service support, such as mission operators under contract, AIN understands. The company says that it will provide post-design services and further modifications.