Raytheon has launched the Overseer multi-sensor mission system at its new intelligence, surveillance, target, acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) integration centre in Broughton, north Wales.
The company aims to offer the Overseer product to future and existing operators of its ISTAR airborne platforms to allow mission personnel to better fuse information from multiple sensors.
Phil Nettleship, chief technical officer at Raytheon Airborne Sensors, told Jane's at the 30 March opening ceremony that the company had been developing Overseer for several years in the United Kingdom, adding it was now "market ready".
Overseer is a scaleable product for ISTAR aircraft that allows mission system operators to manipulate data from multiple sensors to build a more complete intelligence picture, he said. This could involve cross cueing localised sensors, such as electro-optical cameras, from intelligence collected by wide area sensors. Depending on the configuration of the platform and its sensors, this could either mean passing intelligence to other operator work stations or on smaller platforms with a single work station opening new windows on computer screens to display information.
Nettleship said that Raytheon is offering the Overseer for integration on new ISTAR platforms or retro-fitting to existing ISTAR aircraft. He added that the Overseer was potentially part of the UK's upgrade path for its Raytheon Sentinel R1 airborne stand-off radar (ASTOR) aircraft fleet.
Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones opened the new site in Hangar 119, which is inside the large Airbus facility at Broughton. The Raytheon site is already being used to carry out depth overhauls of Royal Air Force (RAF) Sentinel R1 and Shadow R1 ISTAR aircraft. The opening ceremony was carried out in front of the Sentinel JZ692, which is currently undergoing its 10-year depth overhaul and is expected to return to RAF service towards the end of the year.
There is still uncertainty over the whether the RAF will have to retire one of its five Sentinel aircraft this year as part of savings ordered by the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
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