Daher-Socata has won major change approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) version of its multi-mission TBM single-engined turboprop.
The approval - which is applicable to all TBM 700 and 850 models - paves the way for the French airframer to present the ISR demonstrator to potential customers, including governmental organisations, military-based operations, civil agencies and contract operators.
The TBM 700B-MMA has been outfitted with a Thales Agile 2 gyro-stabilised multi-sensor turret. Located under the aircraft's aft fuselage, this electrically driven turret is fully retractable and accommodates up to four latest-generation sensors - including infrared and electro-optical systems, along with a laser range finder and a laser designator to mark targets.
Control of the aircraft's retractable turret is performed from a "plug-and-play" operator's console inside the cabin. A joystick is provided for the operator, and the console is configured to display imagery from the turret, as well as handle signal processing. A long-duration digital recording function is also available.
The installation weight is around 130kg (290lb), enabling an equipped TBM 850 MMA to carry a full fuel payload of 330kg. With a removal time of 30min, the MMA can be quickly reconfigured to a passenger transport configuration, says Socata.