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C4iSR: Air

USAF to complete CV-22B Silent Knight Radar upgrade by end of 2021

13 February 2019
The Air Force Special Operations Command is to upgrade all 52 of its CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor with the new Silent Knight Radar by December 2021. Source: US Air Force

The US Air Force (USAF) is aiming to integrate the Raytheon AN/APQ-187 Silent Knight Radar (SKR) onto its Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft over the next three years.

A contract modification of USD15 million announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 12 February brings the total funding now committed to the SKR Operational Flight Program to USD45 million, with work to run through to December 2021. The SKR is a multimode terrain-following/avoidance radar that has been designed for helicopter and tiltrotor applications.

Jane's first reported in March 2017 that the US Naval Air System Command's (NAVAIR's) V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275), which manages the Osprey programme for all the US services, was looking to replace the CV-22's current AN/APQ-186 multimode radar because of diminishing manufacturing source (DMS) issues and rising ownership costs.

As noted by NAVAIR, this programme leverages the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)/160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR [A]) SKR effort to reduce costs and maximise SKR commonality with other special operations forces (SOF) aircraft. Besides the CV-22B fielded by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the SKR has been developed to equip USSOCOM Boeing MH-47G Chinook and Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, as well as being tested on AFSOC Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando II aircraft.

All 52 CV-22Bs in the USAF inventory will be equipped with the new SKR, which was designed specifically for tiltrotor and helicopter applications.

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