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ARC-Radar is first in Marshall’s adaptable role-fit family

Marshall Aerospace has launched ARC-Radar, the first of several products to be rolled out in in its adaptable role-fit capability (ARC) family.

ARC-Radar is a modular sensor suite that allows operators of tactical transport aircraft to rapidly and temporarily outfit their fleet for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The company says it solves a logistical problem facing fleet operators - ISR tasks require complex combinations of sensitive equipment that typically means permanent modifications to an aircraft or investment in a purpose-built ISR airframe but by contrast, ARC-Radar is a role-fit palletised solution with no permanent integration or modifications required, using existing aircraft power outlets only.

Marshall's ARC-Radar system. Picture: DefencePhotography.com
Marshall's ARC-Radar system. Picture: DefencePhotography.com

The system comprises a two-panel Leonardo Osprey 30 multi-domain active electronically scanned array (AESA) surveillance radar, two modified paratroop doors containing a Marshall-designed and manufactured ultra-low profile conformal radome, a rear pallet containing two articulated radar mounts and line-replaceable unit (LRU) rack, and a forward pallet containing a mission management console.

The capabilities of Leonardo’s radar, combined with the multi-role flexibility of tactical transport platforms, means ARC-Radar’s potential applications are broad, ranging from military ISR land, sea or air missions to civilian operations such as search and rescue, humanitarian support, and disaster relief.

The entire Marshall system can be fitted or removed in less than four hours, minimising aircraft downtime. No modifications need to be made to the underlying aircraft so fleet operators can alter an aircraft’s role on a day-by-day basis, and operators are not constrained to the availability of a single aircraft.

Ben Jakubowski, head of Marshall Aerospace’s future products team, said: “The unique benefit of this roll-on-roll-off system is that it effectively expands the utilisation of existing assets for multi-mission purposes. This means the operator could be transporting troops on a Monday and conducting an ISR mission on a Tuesday with the same aircraft - our solution offers true operational mobility.”

The system provides significant cost savings by offering the core capability of a dedicated ISR system but with the added flexibility of a transferable multi-mission system utilising an existing fleet. The scalable nature of the system also allows for future growth of ISR capability at minimal cost.

ARC-Radar has undergone extensive testing on the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules platform. In addition to ground-fit trials, a product-proving sortie was recently flown in which all radar modes were tested and their performance verified by Leonardo representatives on a range of static and moving targets over land and sea.

“Marshall’s system using our Osprey 30 AESA radar demonstrated performance which looked as good as any similar system I have tested to date,” saidStan Hargreaves, Leonardo’s head of operational demonstrations, who operated the radar during the flight trial. “The Marshall team should be immensely proud of the innovative product they have developed.”

The modular format of the Marshall ARC platform will allow multiple interchangeable missions across various C-130 configurations, as well a wider range of military transport aircraft.

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