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Sukhoi tests 24h-coverage M400 pod

Sukhoi is testing an integrated reconnaissance pod that includes a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), infrared (IR) and electro-optic (EO) sensors and can provide 24-hour coverage from high or low level.

The M400 pod was unveiled at last month's Moscow air show on the centreline of a Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter. The pod can also provide "reconnaissance for the purpose of target designation to attacking units".

In addition to multispectral sensors the pod is equipped with a wideband datalink to transmit images. The imagery is stored on an onboard data recorder.

Claimed ranges are 70km (38nm) plus for photographic reconnaissance and at least 100km for the SAR. The latter's target resolution is 2m (6.6ft) while the IR and EO systems are 0.3m and a long-focus camera is 0.4m. The side-looking radar and long-focus cameras are removable from the pod.

At the Moscow air show, Sukhoi also displayed a series of concept drawings of "Zond" unmanned air vehicles. Zond 1 bears a resemblance to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk while Zond 3 appears to be an airborne early warning platform with a triangular radar-antenna on the spine.

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