Thu, Jun 18, 2009
New Sensors Increase Surveillance Options
Daher-Socata is unveiling the multi-mission version of its TBM
turboprop aircraft this week, presenting a turret-equipped
demonstrator in the static display at the 2009 Paris Air Show.
The demonstrator being shown is a TBM 700B multi-mission
aircraft (MMA), outfitted with the Thales AGILE 2 gyro-stabilized
multi-sensor turret. Located under the aircraft’s aft
fuselage, this electrically-driven turret is fully retractable, and
accommodates up to four latest-generation sensors – including
infrared and electro-optical systems, along with a laser
rangefinder and a laser designator to mark targets.
“Our TBM MMA is the result of a multi-year development
program, and it offers a highly affordable airborne reconnaissance,
surveillance and intelligence platform for both security and
governmental operators,” said Nicolas Chabbert, Senior
Vice-President of the Daher-Socata Airplane Division. “It
brings together the proven Thales Agile 2 multi-sensor platform
– already in operation on-board several airborne and naval
platforms worldwide , with the TBM very fast turboprop –
which has logged more than 750,000 flight hours in a global fleet
of some 500 aircraft. In addition to TBM’s demonstrated
performance, the aircraft has an excellent maintenance record,
especially in service with the French Armed Forces.”
Control of the TBM MMA’s retractable turret is performed
from a “plug-and-play” operator’s console inside
the cabin. A joystick is provided for the operator, and the console
is configured to display imagery from the turret, as well as handle
signal processing. A long-duration digital recording function also
is available. The console is designed for installation on all TBM
models, enabling both the TBM 700 and TMB 850 to perform
reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence-gathering detection
missions. Installed on existing cabin floor hard points, the
console replaces the TBM’s existing right intermediate seat.
The installation’s weight is approximately 290 lbs., enabling
an equipped TBM 850 MMA to carry a full fuel payload of 730 lbs.
With a removal time of 30 minutes, the TBM MMA can be quickly
reconfigured to a passenger transport configuration.
The TBM turboprop aircraft are available through
Daher-Socata’s existing direct sales and distribution
network, and are supported by its network of service centers. 160
TBM 850's, launched in 2005, have been delivered worldwide.
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