L3Harris, Raytheon selected for next phase of Army Air Reconnaissance upgrades

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army has awarded L3Harris and Raytheon Applied Signal Technology phase two contracts to develop sensors in support of a next-generation airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and reconnaissance program called HADES.

Recent other deals with transactional agencies for the High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System total $18 million, according to the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S, which announced the deal Sept. 13. Total value of prototyping The project is $49 million over three phases.

During the second phase of the competition, the two defense companies will refine their designs and build electronic and communications intelligence sensors that are both more sensitive and able to operate at greater altitudes, ranges and speeds.

The arrangement is part of the Army’s effort to build the Multi-Domain Sensing System, a bundle of technologies the service says will modernize its aerial intelligence gathering and data-sharing capabilities. The upgrades are necessitated by the army’s transition to multi-domain operations – the ability to deter and defeat an enemy in any environment with the help of partners and allies – and advanced technologies employed by other world powers, namely China and Russia will.

“The MDSS HADES will be globally deployable, providing a multi-faceted detection capability at greater altitudes and greater distances and with longer endurance than is currently possible from the Army’s permanent fleet,” Dennis Teefy, Sensors and Air Reconnaissance Project Manager at PEO IEW&S, said in a statement. “The goal is to provide in-depth intelligence gathering of indicators and warnings, electronic order of battle, and life patterns for target development.”

At the end of phase two, up to two vendors will be selected to install their sensors on contract-owned, contract-operated aircraft for a year of flight testing.

To determine what HADES will ultimately look like, the Army is gathering feedback from two demonstration aircraft of similar mythological inspiration: ARTEMIS and ARES.

ARTEMIS, or Aerial Reconnaissance and Targeting Exploitation Multi-Mission Intelligence System, is based on a Bombardier Challenger 650 jet and flies in Europe. It has logged more than 2,000 hours, Defense News previously reported. ARES, or Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System, is based on a Bombardier Global Express 6500 jet and will be deployed to the Pacific with more than 130 hours of recording.

The HADES multi-domain sensing project is a partnership between Project Director Sensors-Aerial Intelligence at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and Project Manager Fixed Wing at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.

“Fly, fix, fly is the concept. We repeat, we learn. We see what works in that area, what doesn’t work, come back to the United States, fix, change, go back and forth,” Ronald Rizzo, deputy project manager for sensor air reconnaissance, told reporters Aug. 30 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. “All of this is intended to inform how we will ultimately build the HADES program of recording.”

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously reported for a South Carolina newspaper on the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration—specifically, the Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development. Colin is also an award winning photographer.

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