Guardian 400 Twin Otter is a special mission variant of the Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft designed and developed by Viking Air, an aircraft manufacturer based in Canada. Viking Air Limited revealed its Guardian 400 special mission aircraft at the 2019 Paris International Airshow, marking the launch of a World Demonstration Tour. Featuring a pixelated camouflage paint scheme, the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft features Airborne Technologies’ wing-mounted SCAR pods, LINX® flexible surveillance architecture solution that integrates all sensors and communications systems with intuitive user interface, and tactical workstation with with high-definition touchscreen monitors. The prototype is also equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right NATO standard wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.
Hensoldt has supplied the Argos EO/IR imaging turret with multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega-pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD and/or crew workstation. An Osprey Radar system, supplied by Leonardo, is a low size weight and power (SWaP) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar surveillance system that features 120-degree forward swath and true multi-mission capability for high performance maritime and land surveillance. The Osprey system also provides high-resolution ground mapping, small and low speed ground target indication, and air-to-air surveillance, tracking and intercept capability. Sentient has supplied the Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) Camera system complete with Kestrel moving target indication (MTI). The Kestrel MTI continuously detects moving objects while increasing the surveillance area by a factor of 20, thereby reducing operator fatigue and increasing reliable detection over long missions.
The tactical workstation is a light-weight carbon fibre modular unit with touch-screen monitors, data/voice and video recorders, mission management unit (MMU), hand controller for main control unit and single lenses reflex (SLR) camera targeting, and a CarteNav AIMS mission system. CarteNav Solutions has provided its AIMS mission system software that processes and manages imagery and data from the various sensors to enhance situational awareness and improve mission effectiveness with real time, geo-referenced local operating pictures. The Guardian 400 prototype also features a data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting and IKHANA ergonomic operators mission seat for optimized crew comfort.
Guardian 400 is built on the robust design of Twin Otter. It is an ideal platform for short-field operations, higher take-off weight, and long-range endurance missions. It is an all-metal non-pressurised aircraft with a high wing configuration. The aircraft is certified under the restricted category. The open architecture of the aircraft allows for easy customisation for multiple missions, increasing the flexibility for customers. The multi-mission aircraft is designed to operate with five types of landing gear, such as standard wheel landing gear, straight floats or amphibious, intermediate flotation gear, and wheel skis. Guardian 400 offers three flexible interior configurations integrating a single or dual workstation, single and double seats, a stretcher, front and rear baggage compartments, a lavatory, and a camera hatch. It can also be configured to standard passenger configuration, offering seating for 19 passengers. A MEDEVAC configuration of the aircraft can offer up to eight stretchers, along with an optional patient loading utility system.