Modern challenges call for a modern approach. Many regions of the world face increasingly complex threats to their stability, safety and security. Decision makers need access to reliable, timely and accurate intelligence on the local area, the threats, their locations and their intentions, providing the complete operational picture.
The Current Situation
Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) is crucial in the execution of defence and security operations. But with the current assets that provide surveillance, coverage is often intermittent due to limited platform endurance, reducing the availability of sensors on station. In addition, the demands of modern operations require multi-spectral information in multiple locations: airborne intelligence demand assets beyond the affordability of even the largest acquisition, sustainment and operating budgets.
Over time adversaries learn and become aware of these limitations. It’s clear a solution is needed to stop them from avoiding detection and gaining the element of surprise.
A Modern Solution
Persistent surveillance is the ideal solution. Patterns of Life can be established and understood with a richness and depth before, during and after an operation, ensuring nuances of information, anomalies and latent threats are not missed.
To support an effective operation, persistent surveillance needs to be multi-spectral and have the ability to provide real-time actionable intelligence to those on the ground. This increases forces understanding about the total environment, enabling them to discriminate, track and respond to potential targets and threats. With true persistence there is no break in contact, enabling faster and more coherent decision making at all levels of command.
Imagine a sensing, processing, command and control node in the sky at your chosen location 24 hours a day, providing constant wide area coverage, transforming multi-spectral data into disseminated, actionable intelligence.
Hybrid aircraft, like Airlander, have unique capabilities that enable exactly this type of long-endurance operation. Airlander 10 can host a three-tonne multi-sensor mission payload on station for up to five days. It has space to host multiple, large-aperture sensors on a single platform. Airlander 10 is inherently persistent in its nature, providing sensor-on-station capacity beyond the reach of other aircraft enabling multi-sensor persistent surveillance at affordable mission costs.
Airlander can be equipped with the storage and processing power to allow exploitation and first line analysis to take place on board so that actionable intelligence reports can be disseminated from the platform directly, and delivered to the ground. Enhancing processing, exploitation and dissemination with on-board capabilities minimises the chain from detection to action.
This also leads to a reduced need for large off-board specialist Processing, Exploitation & Dissemination (PED) cells, minimising resource and manpower demands on the force. It also reduces the need for expensive and spectrum-intensive wide-band communication data links. Actionable insights rather than raw data are exported.
Airlander eliminates the need to employ multiple ISR aircraft each equipped with one or two sensors or systems. With a multi-sensor payload incorporating sensor packages up to the sizes typically hosted on large business jets, Airlander is able to collect long and short range multi-spectral imagery, using immediate cross-cue from the platform’s other sensors, all aboard one platform, and stay with surface forces for the duration of the operation.
With multiple sensors comes operational resilience. Imagine the common scenario of a lost Ground Moving Target Indicator plot. Airlander’s on-board operator can immediately task a co-hosted long-range imaging multi-spectral camera to provide an almost continuous imagery of the target. Airlander provides the advantage as persistent data is collected without having to depend on off-ship sensors or fusion systems to supply information.
Surveying a border, monitoring an EEZ or protecting ground forces, Airlander 10 can provide persistent, unbroken, multi-sensor intelligence available on demand at a scale that is not affordable with the current generation of air platforms. If you would like to know more about how Airlander can optimise operational performance get in contact here. Or explore Airlander’s defence and security capabilities in more depth here.