HUGHES AIRCRAFT will formerly deliver the completed $1 billion plus Peace Shield command, control and communication (C3I) system to Saudi Arabia in July.

The integrated system is being delivered "...nearly six months ahead of schedule and on budget", says Hughes, which is building the Peace Shield under a contract with the US Air Force's Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Peace Shield uses more than a million lines of operational and support software, all developed by Hughes.

A new family of airspace management and defence systems, called the Sentry, has been introduced by Hughes. They have resulted from processes and techniques involved in the development of the Peace Shield, together with the UK's Improved UK Air Defence Ground Environment and other significant C3I systems.

Three versions of the modular-concept Sentry are being offered by Hughes, all of them working on the Unix operating system to provide an open-system architecture:

Sentry 1000: the basic system provides tracking, identification, fighter control and training and can be fielded within six months;

Sentry 2000: adds additional capability, including threat evaluation, automatic weapons-assignment, surface-to-air missile control and interoperability with existing systems through datalinks. The Sentry 2000 is being offered for availability within 12 months;

Sentry Custom: will be available within two years and will include mission planning, missile defence, and military and civilian air-traffic-control interfaces. Hughes says, that this option is fully tailored to the local airspace-management and defence system requirements.

Source: Flight International