Low-cost airborne surveillance solution to have more capabilities and aircraft platforms Raytheon is developing an improved HISAR 2K integrated surveillance and reconnaissance system, leveraging off the investment being made in larger, more sophisticated sensors for the US and UK military, to improve the range and resolution and cut costs.

HISAR 2K draws on technology for the UK Royal Air Force's Airborne Stand-off Radar System, the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Programme (MR-RTIP), the Lockheed Martin U-2's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System and the Northrop Grumman RQ-4AGlobal Hawk's synthetic aperture radar/moving target indicator.

"Key technologies fall into two classes, performance and cost," says Justin Monger, Raytheon Electronic Systems manager business development. HISAR 2K will have "significantly better" resolution than HISAR's 1.8m (6ft) spot mode and 37km (23 miles) strip-mode swath.

Raytheon is also planning to expand the range of systems HISAR 2K is integrated with, beyond forward looking infrared imagers. Options include new electronic support measures, satellite communications and datalinks. Some interface work with Link 16 datalinks has already been done.

HISAR 2K is intended to remain a low-cost airborne surveillance solution in the $10-30 million range depending on the platform. Raytheon has striven to reduce manufacturing costs and times. "We're targeting the highest cost items, the gimbal, receiver and exciter," says Monger.

The system will retain a mechanically scanned array and, unlike new phased array systems, such as MR-RTIP, will not be capable of interleaving MTI and SAR imagery. The latter is made difficult by HISAR's processing technique used to generate a three-dimensional picture by overlaying two SAR images.


Raytheon has sold HISAR to six users including the US Army and fitted the system to the Beech 1900, King Air 200, Bombardier Dash 7 and Dash 8 and Grob Egrett. "The Hawker 800 will probably be the first business jet we next put the system on," adds Monger.

Source: Flight International