US military increases aerial ISR capabilities with HADES prototypes

In a strategic move to enhance national security, the US Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal has signed an agreement with Bombardier Defense, acquiring Global 6500 jets to lead prototyping efforts for the High Precision Detection and Exploitation System (HADES).

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

Bombardier Defense wins L3Harris Technologies, Leidosand MAG Aerospace, who have joined forces to provide a fleet of airborne ISR aircraft to the competition for the US Army’s HADES program.

The contract, signed on December 12, 2023, ensures the acquisition of one Global 6500 aircraft, but includes options for two additional aircraft over three years.

These aircraft will serve as the vanguard in the development of HADES prototypes, marking a time when the US Army is introducing large-cabin operational aircraft into its ISR fleet. Designed to operate at higher altitudes than traditional turboprop platforms, the HADES aims to promise increased range, speed, endurance and, most importantly, deep sensing capabilities.

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

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The delivery date for the first Global 6500 aircraft, a component of the HADES program, is scheduled 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.

Prior to the HADES program, the Army began acquiring airborne ISR as a service, using technology demonstrators from defense industry suppliers beginning in 2020. These aerial technology demonstrators provide key data on platform performance, sensor integration, and distribution – information contributing to the development and leveraging the sensors and aircraft that HADES incorporates.

As the US Army charts new terrain in the realm of Aerial ISR, Bombardier Defense is taking center stage, contributing Global 6500 jets to ensure the success of the HADES program, ultimately strengthening the nation’s defense capabilities in the ever-evolving landscape of multi-domain operations .

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