Europe’s stand-off surveillance and target acquisition radar (SOSTAR-X) technology demonstration programme made a significant advance last month, with the successful maiden flight of a modified Fokker 100 testbed.

Fokker 100 Sostar

Pictured during its 22 December debut sporting a new colour scheme, the trials aircraft has been modified with the addition of a 5m (16.4ft)-long radome beneath its forward fuselage.

This will house a developmental synthetic-aperture radar/ground-moving target indication sensor, which is expected to feed technology into the proposed payload for NATO’s future Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system.

Flight tests of the modified Fokker 100 are scheduled to begin this year carrying the European sensor, with these to conclude with a final system demonstration to AGS member states and other nations in April 2007 (Flight International, 4-10 October 2005).

The €90 million ($110 million) SOSTAR-X project involves Dutch Space, EADS, Galileo Avionica, Indra and Thales.

Source: Flight International