Air Force to buy Raytheon multispectral UAV sensor payloads for Reaper hunter-killer drone
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 9 Feb. 2015. U.S. Air Force airborne sensors experts announced their intention last week to buy as many as 49 MST-B multispectral targeting systems from the Raytheon Co. for the MQ-9 Reaper hunter-killer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Raytheon’s MTS-B multispectral targeting system provides electro-optical, infrared, laser designation, and laser illumination capabilities for the Reaper armed drone that are integrated into one sensor package.
Officials of the Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft System Division of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, say they intend to award a sole-source contract to the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems segment in McKinney, Texas, for the MTS-B electro-optical UAV sensor payloads.
From Raytheon the Air Force will buy as many as 49 MTS-B turret units, turret containers,high-definition electronics units (HDEU), HDEU containers, and spare parts. The value of the upcoming contract has yet to be negotiated.
A multispectral sensor captures image data at specific frequencies across the electromagnetic spectrum, and separates the wavelengths to enable extraction of additional information the human eye fails to capture with its receptors for red, green and blue.
The MTS-B UAV sensor payload provides detecting, ranging, and tracking for the Air Force MQ-9 Reaper. Using a digital architecture, this system provides long-range surveillance, high-altitude target acquisition, tracking, range finding, and laser designation for the HELLFIRE missile and for all tri-service and NATO laser-guided munitions.
The Raytheon MTS is a turreted forward-looking pod combining several visible-light and infrared video cameras for long-range surveillance and high-altitude target acquisition, tracking and laser designation. In addition to the Reaper UAV,the MTS is for the C-130 fixed-wing aircraft, and the MH-60 helicopter.
The MTS offers a combination of sensors that include multiple-wavelength sensors; near-infrared and color daylight TV cameras; illuminators; eye-safe range finders; image merging; spot trackers; and similar other avionics, Raytheon officials say.