The Finnish Defence Forces’ vigilant ‘Dragon Shield’ airborne surveillance system has reached final operational capability (FOC).
During testing, an Airbus CASA C-295 cargo aircraft was reconfigured with a containerised surveillance system that rolls on and off the aircraft.
The final flight test of the system assessed the compliance of the aircraft to civilian and military airworthiness requirements, in addition to system requirements verification.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the airborne surveillance system is an open, modular architecture that allows scope for integration of future upgrades.
The approach would offer a modernised system throughout the life cycle of the aircraft using a new technology road-mapping process.
Lockheed Martin has not only modified the aircraft with the advanced system, but has also delivered ground stations and communications terminals to the Finnish Defence Forces in order to support the airborne system.
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Lockheed Martin C4ISR Systems vice-president Dr Rob Smith said: “Working in unison with our customer, we provided an innovative system that fulfils their dynamic requirements.
“We worked with Finnish industry to maximise industry participation to ensure that the system can be maintained in-country.”
The company develops customised airborne and ground system configurations in order to address customer-specific sensor requirements and airframe needs.
The roll-on / roll-off mission suite is required to be developed for customers who require an aircraft that can carry out multiple operational missions such as airlift and reconnaissance.