UTC Aerospace Systems promoted its latest range of multi-spectral airborne reconnaissance pods at Paris Air Show 2017 with senior company officials claiming that within the next four years, most global customers will have made the switch to the technology type.
Speaking to MONS at the event on 20 June, Vice President and General Manager for Airborne Systems, Kevin Raftery, highlighted UTC’s latest product, the MS-110, which represents a fourth generation variant of its legacy DB-110 payload.
Airborne sensors can be integrated on board a variety of aircraft including fast air platforms, such as the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) TORNADO as well as slow-movers. According to Raftery, MS-110 payloads provide double the coverage area of legacy solutions with more than three times information collection.
The MS-110 comprises a total of seven channels integrated into the single payload, including Visible and InfraRed technologies associated with legacy DB-110 but with the added benefit of being able to exploit Bands 1-7 across the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum (EMS).
“The only difference between the DB-110 and MS-110 is packaging with the latter actually lighter than its predecessor while retaining the same form factor,” Raftery explained to MONS while suggesting an easy transition for customers seeking to upgrade solutions.
“Ground support and spare parts are also exactly the same for both systems for reduced logistics, meaning it is less intrusive for the soldier,” he added while describing how processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) could be conducted from the same ground control station.
Additionally, Raftery explained how the company was pursuing multiple avenues to integrate the MS-110 on board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with ongoing evaluation being conducted in collaboration with the US Air National Guard and RAF. “We are working with General Atomics on this effort,” Raftery noted.
Raftery explained how the company was currently manufacturing MS-110 for an undisclosed launch customer with initial deliveries expected to be delivered for integration on board a fast air platform towards the end of 2018.