US Army Completes Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES)
US Army Completes Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES)

US Army Completes Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) Upgrade

On January 31, 2021, L3Harris inducted a green Bombardier Global business jet into its Waco, Texas aircraft modification center. Less than six months later, the aircraft completed its first flight as a newly missionized U.S. Army Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES). The agile solution was produced to help modernize and enhance the Army’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The jet missionization is another example of L3Harris’ extensive résumé of swiftly producing airborne systems for Department of Defense and international customers, completing this complex design, engineering, modification and integration of a sophisticated next-generation aircraft in a compressed timeframe.

“In both of these projects, L3Harris combines scaled SIGINT hardware architecture with modernized battle-tested software to counter ever-evolving threats through continuous SIGINT enterprise updates,” said Jon Piatt, President, Reconnaissance Mission Systems, L3Harris. “Our solutions will greatly increase current capabilities by orders of magnitude with built-in growth, interoperability, networking and adaptability for future missions.”

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“We are a whole-solutions provider,” said Luke Savoie, President, Aviation Services, L3Harris. “Our team has decades of experience designing and integrating mission system solutions with proven proficiency in modernizing and modifying more than 95 different platform types.”

ARES is designed to showcase the future of Army airborne ISR for the Army’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) program. It demonstrates how existing fleet sensors and technologies perform on a modern platform, and the has the size, weight and power (SWaP) to add new payloads for future mission requirements. The aircraft can fly for up to 14 hours at mission altitudes above 41,000 feet and can activate Long Range Precision Fires to counter long-range threats. Flying above 41,000 feet increases aircraft survivability rates and line-of-sight, making ARES and HADES key Sensor to Shooter network enablers, directly supporting the Army’s top modernization priority. ARES’ extended mission range eliminates the need to operate near challenged or denied borders which reduces mission risk, something not possible with lower-altitude, shorter-range sensing systems. The original equipment manufacturer’s green aircraft can host up to 14,000 lbs. of mission payload and has the power to run the Army’s longest-range sensors, along with the SWaP capacity to accommodate future growth.

US Army Completes Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES)
The U.S. Army Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) during its first flight from L3Harris Technologies’ Waco, Texas aircraft modification center.

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