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US Army seeks high-altitude ISR aircraft

11 January 2019
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The Bombardier Global 6000 is proving to be a popular choice for conversion to military applications and would meet the US Army's high-altitude AISR basic airframe criteria. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The US Army has extended the deadline for responses to a request for information (RFI) for a high-altitude airborne intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (AISR) capability that was issued in late 2018.

The RFI was first issued by the Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) Product Directorate of the Fixed Wing Project Office (FWPO) on 28 November 2018, and extended on 10 January.

As noted in the RFI, the army is looking for an aircraft that can operate above 35,000 ft above mean sea level (ASL); can operate in an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) environment; has an endurance of eight hours or greater; can carry communications intelligence (COMINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) payloads; is equipped with tactical communications; features novel and advanced threat detection and avoidance techniques/systems; is Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) compliant; carries aircraft survivability equipment (ASE); and features aviation mission equipment/assured positioning navigation and timing (AME/A-PNT).

The US Army fields a medium-altitude AISR capability with the Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft, which has been modified under the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) programme.

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