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L3Harris Conducts First Flight of Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System

ARES first flight

L3Harris Conducts First Flight of Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System

L3Harris Technologies has flown the U.S. Army’s technology demonstrator aircraft for the first time.

The Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System is expected to help the Army enhance and modernize its airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

ARES is designed for the service branch’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System program, which seeks to develop an aircraft to replace the legacy Guardrail ISR aircraft fleet, Defense News reported.

In an Aug. 27 press release, L3Harris said ARES can integrate capabilities from the current ISR fleet of the Army with the capacity to add more payloads and sensors and provide increased standoff ranges.

The Army’s Guardrail turboprop aircraft has reached a point where it requires parts from an aircraft boneyard to continue operating.

Meanwhile, the L3Harris-designed ARES can fly at mission altitudes of more than 40,000 ft for up to 14 hours and activate long-range precision fires to tackle long-range threats.

The defense contractor explained that flight operations over 40,000 ft enhance the survivability and line of sight of aircraft, making ARES and HADES key sensor-to-shooter network enablers, which are part of the Army’s top modernization priorities.

However, while the aircraft’s name implies the technology demonstrator would have an EW capability, the system would not start out with such a feature and may never have it, according to Col. James DeBoer, project manager for fixed-wing aircraft.

The Army awarded the development contract to L3Harris for ARES in November 2020.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System ARES Defense and Intelligence Defense News Guardrail HADES High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System James DeBoer L3Harris Technologies US Army