The Force Multiplier intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft is the modified Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 platform equipped with a full mission system to meet the requirements of ISR missions.
Developed jointly by Thales and PAL Aerospace, the aircraft is designed to cater the ground and maritime surveillance needs of defence, government and private customers.
The Force Multiplier was displayed at the Dubai Airshow held in November 2017. It is scheduled to perform flight for customers on an interim or long-term lease from 2018.
The primary missions of the ISR aircraft include search-and-rescue (SAR), ground and maritime surveillance, border surveillance, life raft deployment and immigration control.
Design and technical specifications of Force Multiplier
Based on the Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 passenger aircraft, Force Multiplier features a large fuselage with a circular cross section. Its under-fuselage is fitted with a retractable tricycle-type landing gear integrating twin Goodrich wheels and brakes. The aircraft also features a drop hatch for the deployment of stores, life rafts, smoke markers and illumination flares.
The aircraft has an overall length of 25.7m, wing span of 27.4m, wing area of 56.2m², fuselage diameter of 2.69m and a height of 7.49m.
Mission system aboard Force Multiplier ISR aircraft
The aircraft is equipped with Thales AMASCOS® mission system, which offers multi-mission capabilities to meet the varied operational requirements. The mission system enables the crew to conduct ground and maritime surveillance missions. It can be configured with state-of-the-art sensor suites and communication equipment. The modular architecture of the system enables the integration of either light and core configurations for safety and security surveillance tasks or higher configurations for defence missions.
The AIMS-ISR® mission system software from CarteNav Solutions enables the addition of a range of sensor types, including cameras, radars, automatic identification system (AIS), electronic support measures (ESM), location trackers, and communication systems.
The software can also be interfaced with a range of third-party and customer-specific information databases and systems.
The aircraft integrates a Thales SEARCHMASTER® airborne multi-role surveillance radar. The lightweight and modular design incorporates an active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna.
The radar offers the superior multi-role solution suitable for the missions of modern navies and air forces. It complements the anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), maritime surveillance, ground surveillance and mapping, aerial surveillance and support missions.
The radar can be integrated with all types of mission platforms, including manned, unmanned, fixed and rotary wing aircraft. It also offers extended range, 360° coverage, and electronic scanning in the vertical plane for continuous short-range and long-range surveillance and detection in severe environmental conditions.
The aircraft is also equipped with a Wescam MX-15 HDI electro-optical/infrared system. It supports the integration of up to six sensors to deliver real-time imagery during the day and night. The four-axis gimbal offers full stabilisation for all payloads.
Force Multiplier navigation and communications
The navigation systems aboard the aircraft include Saab R4A mk2 airborne AIS transponder and Rockwell Collins DF500 airborne direction finder. The communications are supported by Inmarsat Swift broadband beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) satellite communications (SATCOM), tactical data link, Streamcaster radios and V/UHF multi-band radios.
The aircraft is also installed with a video distribution and mission console recording system for post-mission analysis. The high-bandwidth open architecture data network aboard the aircraft enables the integration of customer-specific sensors and mission systems.
Engines and performance
The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123/B/E turboprop engines driving two Hamilton Standard 14SF-23 four-blade, reversible pitch propellers. Each engine develops a maximum power of 2,380shp.
The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 287kt and can reach a maximum altitude of 25,000ft. It has a maximum endurance of more than ten hours.
The Global Military Aircraft Market 2011-2021
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