The Hensoldt-led Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System – or Pegasus – signals intelligence (SIGINT) programme has marked the roll-out of its first modified airframe.

The German prime contractor and Global 6000 producer Bombardier on 5 June released an image of the lead platform emerging from adaptation at the airframer’s Wichita site in Kansas.

Pegasus airframe

Source: Bombardier

Bombardier’s Global 6000 airframe is being adapted for signals intelligence mission for German military

“Bombardier was tasked with the foundational modification work package, collaboratively working with Lufthansa Technik Defense,” the companies say. Another two of the long-range business jets are also being modified in Wichita currently.

“We are making important strides, and have a clear line of sight on the aircraft’s upcoming milestones, including the start of the flight-test campaign in the coming months,” says Bombardier Defense vice-president Steve Patrick.

Following this activity, the aircraft will be flown to Lufthansa Technik’s Hamburg facilities in Germany for the receipt of its Hensoldt-developed Kalaetron Integral SIGINT system equipment.

Placed under contract in 2021, the more than €1 billion ($1 billion) Pegasus programme will lead to the German military re-establishing a fixed-wing SIGINT capability lapsed since the 2010 retirement of Dassault-Dornier Atlantiques.


Source: Hensoldt

Three-strong Pegasus fleet will reinstate Berlin’s lapsed airborne SIGINT capability

Berlin earlier this year said that it expects the Pegasus system to enter operational use during 2027.

“The roll-out – following the recent passing of the critical design review – clearly shows that the Pegasus programme is on track,” says Juergen Halder, Hensoldt’s vice-president airborne SIGINT.