Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), a U.S.-based aerospace and defense company, has developed new high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) plane based on the Bombardier Global 6500 business jet airframe.
SNC is developing a new Aerial Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) platform called RAPCON-X in anticipation of a U.S. Army program.
SNS says that it is spending more than $200 million of its own money to build a small fleet of jets ahead of a possible U.S. program. Currently, the corporation modified two Bombardier Global 6500s as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology prototypes.
Work on the RAPCON-X aircraft started a year ago, “in an effort to build something that the Army and DoD need before they need it,” Tim Harper, senior director of business development for SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies division said.
Tim Harper explained, “SNC has a long history of developing solutions to difficult challenges, and we understand this process never ends. We’ve been in the industry for nearly 60 years, and understand that sometimes, needs emerge at a pace that doesn’t match that of government procurement processes. Our demonstrated pedigree of delivering solutions across DOD and international customers, combined with our team of top engineers, gives us the ability to identify the needs of tomorrow and address them today.”
The new spy plane is able to accommodate a radar and signals intelligence package of the customer’s choosing. The military-specific modifications are all developed using model-based systems engineering with an open architecture design meant to accommodate whatever sensor the user needs to accomplish the mission.
RAPCON-X is designed to provide the most timely, accurate and relevant tactical signal intelligence, or SIGINT, to commanders. Intelligence gathered during RAPCON-X missions will be sent back to analysts operating in ground stations outside hostile areas.