The addition of the radar into the Scorpion’s mission system compliments the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensor suite which already includes a high end EO/IR capability, company officials say.
Textron AirLand and Thales announced the radar integration this week at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France. Textron AirLand is a joint venture of Textron Inc. in Providence, R.I., and AirLand Enterprises LLC in Wichita, Kan. For more Paris Air Show coverage see www.militaryaerospace.com/paris-air-show.
The Textron AirLand Scorpion is a proposed American light attack and ISR jet. A prototype was secretly constructed by Cessna at their Wichita, Kan., facility between April 2012 and September 2013 and first flown on 12 December 2013. It is yet unsold.
Having integrated the multi-mode radar into Scorpion within two weeks, the first flight trials were in late May. Combined with a visible-light and infrared camera, the Thales I-Master radar adds long range, wide area surveillance, and target tracking to the Scorpion light-attack jet.
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One operator aboard the Scorpion jet operates both sensor payloads simultaneously. Two pilots operate the Scorpion jet, who sit in tandem. The Scorpion is 43.5 feet long, has a 47-foot wingspan, and can carry a 9,450-pound payload of weapons, fuel, and crew.
With two Honeywell TFE731 jet turbofan engines, the plane can fly as fast as 450 knots, fly as slowly as 96 knots, has a range of 2,400 nautical miles, and can fly as high as 45,000 feet. The Scorpion has hard points for 6,200 pounds of bombs and missiles, and an internal 3,000-pound weapons bay.
"The combination of I-Master and the Scorpion jet demonstrates a powerful surveillance and strike capability," says Eddie Awang, Thales’s vice president in charge of intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance business.
Textron AirLand’s Scorpion, which has completed more than 400 hours of flight testing, is designed to be affordable, multi-mission aircraft offering diverse capabilities including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, advanced training, and precision strike. The plane has an all-composite structure.
The Thales I-Master radar is a compact, lightweight, all-weather tactical surveillance radar, providing ground moving target indication (GMTI), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and maritime moving target indication (MMTI) capability.
I-MASTER also provides high fidelity imagery for locating and classifying moving and stationary targets at long ranges over land and sea. The radar is suited for maritime security, border protection, disaster and humanitarian relief, and counter narcotics applications.
The Scorpion jet is on display this week at the Paris Air Show, Textron Pavilion A-2. For more information contact Textron AirLand online at www.scorpionjet.com.