Northrop Grumman and EADS Cassidian conducted the first signals intelligence (Sigint) sensor test flight of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on January 11. The aircraft flew for more than six hours and climbed to 54,000 feet in military-controlled airspace before returning to Manching Air Base in Germany, north of Munich. Bernhard Gerwert, Cassidian CEO, said the payload “showed excellent performance within the perfect interplay of the overall system.”
Intelligence gathering disciplines
There are plenty of sensor options available for mounting on the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules, but an innovative new technology called Sabir (Special Airborne Mission Installation & Response System) is being presented here at the show by Highland Integrated Surveillance Systems (Hiss).
Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems has delivered the first APY-10 multi-mission radar to Boeing for installation in the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian Navy. The company is under contract to deliver eight sets.
L-3 Communications has unveiled another ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) conversion of the Hawker Beechcraft King Air series, which will be available for export with a contractor-operated option.
Prompted in part by the prospect of squeezed Pentagon budgets, U.S. defense groups have been consolidating operations in pursuit of higher value, higher technology pursuits.
When it comes to defense coverage, AIN naturally focuses on airborne systems and platforms, including some very high-tech stuff, of course. But my visit to the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Conference and Exhibitionin London last month was a reminder that what happens on the ground is equally, if not more, important.
L-3 Communications is here at the Farnborough airshow highlighting some of the technology with which it has been able to assert itself as a leader in systems developed to greater capability to existing military aircraft. The U.S.
The UK’s Secretary of Defense, Bob Ainsworth, confirmed on March 22 that the Royal Air Force would receive three Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft to provide its signals intelligence (Sigint) gathering capability, the final agreement having been reached on March 19. The announcement brought to an end any lingering speculation concerning the immediate future of RAF Sigint.
The UK Royal Air Force flies three Nimrod R.1 versions that are dedicated to SIGINT (signals intelligence). They were converted from MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft, and their sensors have been upgraded regularly to monitor emerging new threats and signals. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) developed a plan for a complete replacement of the aircraft’s SIGINT suite, Project Helix, and chose L-3 Communications UK to provide it.
Urals Optical Mechanical Plant (UOMZ) is presenting its new SON-730 optical observation system here at Farnborough International (Hall 1 Stand B13), showing it in real-time use on a target-mounted screen. According to director general Sergey Maksin, the development of this technology for civilian use has been a major priority for the Russian company over the past decade.