In a strategic move towards bolstering national security, the US Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal has inked a deal with Bombardier Defense, acquiring Global 6500 jets to spearhead prototyping efforts for the High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES).

The US Army is set to improve its aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities by procuring a Global 6500 jet aircraft through a firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Bombardier Defense. 

Bombardier Defense has beaten L3Harris Technologies, Leidos, and MAG Aerospace, who joined forces to provide a fleet of aerial ISR aircraft in the race for the US Army’s HADES programme competition. 

The contract, signed on 12 December, 2023, secures acquiring one Global 6500 jet but includes options for two additional aircraft over three years.

These aircraft will serve as the vanguard in developing HADES prototypes, marking a moment as the US Army introduces large-cabin business jets into its ISR fleet. Designed to operate at higher altitudes than traditional turboprop platforms, HADES aims to promise increased range, speed, endurance, and, most notably, deep-sensing capabilities.

Colonel Joe S. Minor, the project manager for Army fixed-wing aircraft, emphasised the significance of HADES, stating, “HADES will bring the Army increased range, speed, endurance, and aerial ISR depth.” The operational imperative for the Army of 2030 revolves around deep sensing, a capability that higher altitudes inherently provide, allowing for persistent surveillance in areas of interest.

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The delivery date for the first Global 6500 jet, a component of the HADES programme, is slated for October 1, 2024. This marks a step forward in the Army’s mission to enhance its intelligence-gathering capabilities against peer and near-peer adversaries.

Preceding the HADES programme, the Army initiated the acquisition of aerial ISR as a service, utilising technology demonstrators from defence industry vendors since 2020. These aerial technology demonstrators provide essential data on platform performance, sensor integration, and distribution – insights that contribute to deploying and utilising the sensors and aircraft that HADES embodies.

As the US Army charts new territory in the realm of Aerial ISR, Bombardier Defense takes centre stage, contributing its Global 6500 jets to ensure the success of the HADES programme, ultimately fortifying the nation’s defence capabilities in the ever-evolving landscape of multidomain operations.