The AS3 communications intelligence (COMINT) system of QinetiQ (Stands S2-550 and S2-341) is set to get airborne as a payload on Thales’s Watchkeeper UAV.
Part of QinetiQ’s ASX family of COMINT solutions, AS3 is designed specifically for UAVs and small manned platforms. It enables the operator to detect signals from military communications devices and then locate, identify and listen to the individuals using them.
Fitted to Watchkeeper, AS3 is designed to increase the UAV’s sensor footprint and enable it to work with ground-based systems to locate military communications with greater precision. It allows the platform to undertake COMINT missions that would normally be carried out by larger, more strategic platforms, such as multi-engine business jets.
AS3’s integration into the Watchkeeper UAV is the culmination of a jointly funded collaborative project between Thales and QinetiQ, with its roots in a contract placed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The integration milestone follows a rigorous programme of engineering and safety case activity, which saw QinetiQ design, test and manufacture a bespoke chassis to hold the AS3 payload in place.