The latest variant in the long-running Britten-Norman Defender line-of-light surveillance aircraft can be seen in model form on the company’s stand (A534/4).
The Defender 4000e carries a new equipment fit, Selex Sensor & Airborne Systems’ integrated mission sensor suite (IMSS).
The IMSS consists of a belly-mounted Seaspray 7000 radar, Titan multi-sensor turret system and the PALS passive ESM system. The new variant is easily recognised by its reshaped nose with underslung sensor turret.
Integrating the Selex equipment followed earlier discussions with BAE Systems and Avionics, when Britten-Norman decided the IMSS would be suitable as a future sensor fit for the Defender 4000. Internally, the new sensor suite is designed to operate from two workstations.
The trial platform aircraft, which was initially shown at the UK’s Helitech 05 show last year, took less than four months to modify to its new configuration. The Defender 4000e is being promoted as a low-cost maritime, border surveillance and Exclusive Economic Zone patrol aircraft. Britten-Norman says the Defender produces “significantly reduced vibration” compared with helicopters, resulting in reduced image shake in the IMSS’s optical sensors.