FIA18: Leonardo Launches SPIDER COMINT System

Real-time Interception and Analysis

Leonardo’s latest, next-generation EW communications intelligence (COMINT) system is dubbed SPIDER, so named for the eight RF antennae it contains. Able to detect, intercept, identify and geo-locate complex target communications in a congested environment, SPIDER can be combined with Leonardo’s SAGE ESM/ELINT system to provide a full signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability through a single mission interface. COMINT and ELINT data would in that case be provided to the crew through a single graphical user interface, which allows mission commander overview or dedicated COMINT and ELINT analysis.

SPIDER’s real time detection and analysis capability, plus its built-in geolocation technology, gives commanders the ability to monitor hostile forces’ intent and location. By automatically detecting and tracking targets, SPIDER can present operators with an in-depth picture of the activities of hostile forces. This new product will be unveiled during the Farnborough International Airshow 16-20 July. 

The SPIDER antenna array weighs less than 20kg and fits inside a 1.5×0.5×0.5m pod, allowing it to be installed on a range of platforms including surveillance aircraft such as the KING AIR 350, Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) remotely-piloted air systems and larger aircraft such as Leonardo’s ATR-72MP. 

Trials of SPIDER, developed and manufactured in the UK to provide high-end COMINT features at a significantly reduced cost compared to competing systems, were conducted in 2018 and first deliveries will be available from 2019.

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