Eye in the sky

Sophisticated tech delivers the big picture, in the air and on the ground


Raytheon’s Sentinel system equips five converted Bombardier Global Express aircraft with a dual mode radar, two transportable ground stations and six mobile tactical ground stations.

They begin in plainclothes: Civilian aircraft built for business or pleasure – the Beechcraft King Air 350, Bombardier Global Express and Gulfstream G550.

Then Raytheon goes to work, transforming these civilian aircraft into ultra-sophisticated surveillance planes, aligning futuristic airborne technologies to ground-based systems to deliver unmatched awareness. The right sensors, processing, mission system, platform, ground elements, training and sustainment create an integrated system that sees, identifies and delivers critical information for many missions, including humanitarian crises.

“In today’s battles, there can be adversaries on the ground, in the air, on and in the water and working in the cyber domain – and moving faster than lightning,” said Jim Hvizd, vice president of business development at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “The need for strong, secure, reliable, actionable intel is imperative.”

The Raytheon-transformed civilian aircraft are now airborne systems equipped with exportable sensor modes — synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator, electro-optical and infrared — along with airborne signals intelligence and open architecture mission systems. This results in high-resolution imagery and data correlation capability in near-real time

Raytheon is equipping turboprop and business jet platforms

Raytheon is equipping turboprop and business jet platforms, including the Gulfstream G550, pictured, with advanced surveillance and communications technology.

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force operates a fleet of Raytheon-equipped Sentinels. These sophisticated military surveillance aircraft are modified Bombardier Global Express business jets. They equip the U.K. with capabilities similar to the U. S. Air Force’s joint surveillance target attack radar system, JSTARS.

“I’ve flown the Sentinel,” said Phil Hoole, a six-year Sentinel mission crew commander, now Raytheon U.K. business development capture manager. “It is small; a crew of five can do what larger airborne surveillance platforms cannot; and it features the world’s most sophisticated, dual-mode radar.”

The Sentinel airborne stand-off radar, or ASTOR, includes synthetic aperture radar and ground moving target indicator sensors. Long-endurance, all-weather intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance at high altitudes and long stand-off ranges support various missions. Sentinel has flown nearly 30,000 hours in support of contemporary operations.

Raytheon Broughton's new global airborne ISR facility

Raytheon Broughton's new global airborne ISR facility, part of a joint £1 million investment by Raytheon UK and the Welsh Government, opened March 30.

Raytheon recently opened a technology development facility in Broughton, North Wales to be used for future international special mission aircraft programs the company is currently negotiating.

These next generation surveillance planes will be multi-mission aircraft that combine intelligence from multiple, connected sensors to give decision-makers comprehensive, situational overviews.

“New tools are already enhancing the Sentinel’s maritime surveillance, detection and tracking capability,” said Hvizd.

This document does not contain technology or Technical Data controlled under either the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. E17-P66H.


Last Updated: 01/26/2018