Having integrated the multi-mode radar into Scorpion within just two weeks, the first flight trials took place in late May. Combined with an EO/IR camera, I-Master adds long range, wide area surveillance and target tracking. Both payloads are operated simultaneously by a single operator.
“Thales is very pleased to have worked with Textron Airland to integrate the Thales I-Master radar onto the Scorpion jet. As a market leader, we are continuously striving to improve our offerings. This joint exercise shows how flexible the radar is and how easily it can be integrated onto a platform. The combination of I-Master and the Scorpion jet demonstrates a powerful ‘surveillance and strike’ capability,” said Eddie Awang, Thales’s Vice President in charge of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance business
Textron AirLand’s Scorpion was introduced in 2013 and has completed more than 400 hours of flight testing with an exceptionally high mission availability score. Scorpion is a highly affordable, multi-mission aircraft offering diverse capabilities including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, advanced training and precision strike.
Aircraft features include twin-engine power, two-seat operation, large internal payload capacity, high-definition ISR cameras, wing-mounted weapons stations, and modern avionics within an all-composite structure. With the ability to get to an escalating situation quickly – yet maneuvering at much lower speeds, Scorpion brings the ability to see and exploit perishable intelligence and strike fleeting targets, bringing tactical advantage to demanding situations.
The Thales I-Master radar is a compact, lightweight, all-weather tactical surveillance radar, providing world-leading Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) performance and Maritime Moving Target Indication (MMTI) mode. I-MASTER provides high fidelity imagery for locating and classifying both moving and stationary targets at long stand-off ranges over land and sea.
The choice of modes in a single sensor, together with its small form factor and high-performance capability, makes I-Master ideally suited for a range of air surveillance missions such as maritime security, border protection, disaster/humanitarian relief and counter narcotics.