C4iSR: Air

General Atomics demos Reaper fitted with radar warning receiver

21 April 2017
A Reaper UAV fitted with the Raytheon AN/ALR-69A RWR and electronic warfare suite during trials. Source: GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA ASI) has demonstrated its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying with a radar warning receiver (RWR), the company announced on 10 April.

The demonstration, which was flown out of GA-ASI's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale in California, saw a Reaper Block 5 UAV fitted with a Raytheon AN/ALR-69A RWR and electronic warfare suite fitted to an underwing pylon.

"The successful demonstration of a mature radar warning receiver on our company-owned Predator B/[Reaper] clearly shows the utility of the aircraft in conducting missions in the proximity of threat radars and enemy air defences," executive vice president Mission Systems, Claudio Pereida, was quoted as saying.

As noted by GA-ASI, the podded RWR met or exceeded current performance thresholds for both air- and ground-based radar threats in various flight profiles. Additionally, the RWR information feed to the flight crew was deemed useful for triggering pilot action, such as manually cross-cueing to other onboard sensors to validate threat information.

Already fitted to a number of manned combat aircraft types, including the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the AN/ALR-69A is an all-digital radar warning receiver designed for dense signal environments.

As noted by Jane's C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the sensor is billed as providing 'improved' detection range and accurate, unambiguous identification in dense signal environments that include threat signals together with those generated by 'wingmen, coalition partners and commercial operations'. As such, the AN/ALR-69A incorporates four, independent digital quadrant receivers (DQR - each covering a 90° quadrant), with each unit housing a wideband digital channelised receiver that provides signal selectivity and 'high' sensitivity in dense signal environments.

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