L3Harris conducts maiden flight of US Army’s ARES aircraft
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L3Harris conducts maiden flight of US Army’s ARES aircraft

30 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 30th, 2021 08:47)

ARES will help in enhancing the US Army’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

L3Harris conducts maiden flight of US Army’s ARES aircraft
US Army Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) completes first flight from L3Harris Technologies’ Waco, Texas aircraft modification facility. Credit: L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

L3Harris Technologies has conducted the first flight of the US Army Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) aircraft.

A technology demonstrator for the High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) programme, ARES seeks to expand US Army’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

The company completed the first flight from L3Harris Technologies’ Waco, Texas aircraft modification facility.

L3Harris Aviation Services president Luke Savoie said: “L3Harris is helping the Army rapidly expand its ISR capabilities with ARES.

“Our design, fabrication and integration team turned a green airframe into an initial single sensor capable platform with new sensing technology in six months.”

The ARES technology is currently hosted on a Bombardier Global 6000/6500 class business jet.

This jet was selected as it provides optimal size, weight, power, performance and affordability for the HADES programme. It will also support changes to accommodate future growth.

ARES can fly at mission altitudes more than 40,000ft for around 14 hours, a feature that increases aircraft survivability and line-of-sight. Additionally, the technology can activate Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) to counter long-range threats.

Headquartered in Florida, L3Harris Technologies is an aerospace and defence technology company.

Recently, the company was selected by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to supply WESCAM MX-series sensors and support services. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract values $96m and has a five-year period.

In the second quarter of the year, the US-based firm reported strong results due to growth across key end-markets. Its’s revenue increased 5% year-on-year (YOY) to $4.7bn, while net income jumped by 49% to $413m.