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Bird is the Word!

Bird Aerosystems completes aircraft upgrade

Bird Aerosystems has told MONch that it will complete upgrades of an aircraft equipped with the firm’s MSIS mission management system by the end of the year.

This aircraft is also equipped with the company’s ASIO (Airborne Surveillance, Intelligence and Observation) product which federates the intelligence from number of disparate airborne ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) subsystems onboard an aircraft such as an airborne surveillance radar, signals intelligence and electro-optical apparatus. This allows the convenient analysis of this intelligence at a single workstation via the use of the MSIS product.

The company continued that the upgrade will consist of the installation of a real-time Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link onboard the aircraft to enable it to easily share its intelligence with other users on the ground. Shaul Mazor, the firm’s vice president for marketing and business development, noted that the MSIS operator onboard the aircraft will be able to dynamically control the quantity of bandwidth used by the SATCOM link according to the task being performed to ensure that the link is used in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. For example, the movement of data between the aircraft and a ground station understandably absorbs less SATCOM bandwidth than the transmission of live video. Moreover, this SATCOM link can be used to enable commanders on the aircraft to lead missions from the air based upon the intelligence they are receiving and to then direct units on the ground using the SATCOM link.

Mystery surrounds the customer for the upgrade. The company revealed that these improvements will be conferred on a Cessna Citation business jet used to support special missions in a South American country. Although the firm has demurred from revealing the customers’ identity open sources suggest that these improvements could be rolled out across two Cessna Citation-1 special missions aircraft flown by the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (Mexican Air Force). These two aircraft are already thought to be equipped with the firm’s ASIO and AMPS (Airborne Missile Protection System) equipment.

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