JED - July 2010 - (Page 28)

Small ISR turboprops fill a niche in When the US Army’s planned Enhanced Medium-Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) enters service as early as next year, it will join a plethora of other rapidly fielded small fixed-wing Army and Air Force turboprop aircraft that are flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions over Iraq and Afghanistan today. The bulk of these unarmed “Special Mission Aircraft” are modified versions of King Air twin-engine turboprop business aircraft built by Hawker Beechcraft (Wichita, KS) and subsequently fitted with two onboard ISR sensors, two sensor operator/analyst workstations and communications equipment. The two ISR sensors on the Army and Air Force turboprops are a communications-intelligence (COMINT) payload and a down-looking, rotating ball turret with electro-optical and infrared (E-O/ IR) full-motion video cameras. These relatively simple tactical intelligence support aircraft are a far cry from the costly larger ISR jet designs with advanced sensors that the US military services have favored in the past. The small turboprops are intended not only to augment the surveillance missions flown by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as Predators and Reapers, over Iraq and Afghanistan but

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - July 2010

JED - July 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
SIGINT for Special Mission Aircraft
Fighter Aircraft EW: Shifting from Defense to Attack
Technology Survey: Airborne Radar Jammers
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Sales Offices
JED Quick Look

JED - July 2010