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US Army to expand HADES fixed-wing ISR capability

The ARES demonstrator aircraft seen on its maiden flight in August 2021. The aircraft is based on the Global 6000/6500 business jet airframe that will likely satisfy the US Army‘s latest RFI related to its HADES high-altitude fixed-wing ISR mission. (L3Harris)

The US Army is expanding the size of its fixed-wing high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, with a solicitation for an additional business jet airframe posted by the service on 9 June.

Published on the US government procurement website, the request for information (RFI) is for an in-production business jet capable of satisfying the army's High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) requirement.

“The Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) Product Directorate of the Fixed Wing Project Office (FWPO) has an emerging requirement for a medium/high commercial jet that will be integrated with aerial ISR sensors,” the notification said.

With HADES being the US Army's fixed-wing high-altitude ISR capability, the mission is being tested on the Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) demonstrator aircraft that L3Harris and Raytheon flew for the first time in August 2021. The ARES is based on the Bombardier Global 6000/6500 business jet airframe, and although the required specifications released in the latest RFI match those of the Global 6000/6500, the leadership of the US Army Aviation recently told Janes that the service is “platform agonistic” as to which aircraft type eventually hosts the capability.

According to the US Army, HADES is designed to replace the service's turboprop-based MC-12 fixed-wing ISR assets with a jet-based solution that can fly higher, faster, and farther, while collecting ISR at stand-off ranges.

The capability was initially hosted aboard the Bombardier Challenger 650-based Airborne Reconnaissance and Targeting Multi-Mission Intelligence System (ARTEMIS) aircraft that Janes

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