Predator B to get ARDS
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' (GA-ASI's) Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper UAS will be integrated with the Advanced Radar Detection System (ARDS) from Raytheon Deutschland, it was announced on 7 July.
ARDS is a scalable Electronic Support Measure (ESM) system for passive radar monitoring, developed and designed by Raytheon Deutschland based on modules produced in the UK and Spain. It provides wide-area, passive electronic intelligence (ELINT) over sea and land, enabling high-fidelity detection and direction-finding of RF emitters.
Under this new partnership, the ARDS will be integrated in a standard pod mounted on the centreline hard point of a GA-ASI Predator B. The addition of ELINT to the Predator B will enable users of the UAS to map air defence radar threats from stand-off distances in contested airspace.
A combined Raytheon and GA-ASI team is currently determining the design of the integration hardware. The team plans to conduct developmental and operational test flights in the second half of 2017, with the final capability expected to be made available to customers in 2018.
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