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Leidos Awarded $34 Million Contract to Equip DHC-8 Aircraft with ISR Weapon Systems


Leidos Awarded $34 Million Contract to Equip DHC-8 Aircraft with ISR Weapon Systems

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Leidos Inc. secured $34.3 million for research, development, test and evaluation support to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) weapon systems. The contract modification reportedly provides for the manufacturing and delivery of a new multi-sensor reconnaissance system to equip DHC-8 fixed-wing aircraft. Work will be performed in Reston, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of June 13, 2022. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation, US Army funds in the amount of $25,895,386 were obligated at the time of the award.

The Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E), designated RO-6A, is the Army’s newest manned, multi-sensor, day and night, all-weather AISR system. ARL-E consists of a modified DHC-8-Q315 fixed wing aircraft equipped with a reconfigurable payload and enhanced COMINT and IMINT sensors including a long range and a short range Ground and Dismounted Moving Target Indicator/Synthetic Aperture Radar (GMTI/DMTI/SAR), high-definition EO/IR FMV and Hyperspectral Imagery. The sensors are controlled using onboard Distributed Common Ground Station-Army multifunction workstations.

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US Army DHC-8/RO-6A Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E)
US Army DHC-8/RO-6A Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E)

Intelligence collected on the ARL-E can be analyzed and disseminated in real time, transmitted via Beyond Line of Sight satellite communication, or stored onboard for post-mission analysis. The more capable DHC-8-Q315 based ARL-E will replace the ARL-M systems (DHC-7) with the first unit equipped in FY21. By leveraging former Quick Reaction Capability DHC-8 programs, the Army has capitalized on the reutilization of previous Army investments. There are currently four ARL-M configured systems; there will be eight ARL-E configured systems and one trainer.

The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, commonly known as the Dash 8, is a series of turboprop-powered regional airliners, introduced by de Havilland Canada (DHC) in 1984. DHC was later bought by Boeing in 1988, then by Bombardier in 1992; then by Longview Aviation Capital in 2019, reviving the de Havilland Canada brand. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100s, it was developed from the Dash 7 with improved cruise performance and lower operational costs. RO-6A is an United States military designation for the DHC-8-315 for the United States Army as a reconnaissance platform.

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