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Raytheon Sentinel ASTOR

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posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 06:21 PM
Raytheon is unveiling the Sentinel this week at the Farnborough(sp?) Airshow. It's based on the E-8 JSTARS the USAF uses, but on a Bombadier Business Jet airframe. It uses a Synthetic Aperature Radar like the Joint Stars uses, but only has a crew of 5. The RAF has bought 5 airframes, and plans to have them deployed by 2007.

The Raytheon Sentinel is under development as the RAF's ASTOR (Airborne STand-Off Radar) aircraft. It will be a joint asset with the British Army, providing battlefield and ground surveillance in a similar role to the American E-8 JSTARS aircraft. ASTOR will be totally interoperable with allied systems such as JSTARS and the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system.

The first flight of a modified Bombardier Global Express was in August 2001 which validated the modifications required for the ASTOR system. The first production Sentinel R1 made its 4.4 hour maiden flight on May 26 2004. The initial operating capability will be achieved in 2005.

The original contracts call for a total of five aircraft, eight mobile ground stations (six on wheeled all terrain vehicles and two in air transportable containers), and extensive training facilities at the main RAF station.

The aircraft will normally fly at 15,000 m (40,000 ft) to ensure a high resolution view of a large battlefield area. It will be crewed by a pilot, a co-pilot and three image analysts. Mission endurance should be about 9 hours. While the image analysts can analyse the images on board the aircraft it is expected that, unlike the JSTARS, the actual battle management will occur on the ground.

[edit on 7/19/2006 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:44 PM
Looks kind of weird with the bulges up top and bottom but hey-I can't think of any aircraft made for Battlefield Intelligence t hat doesn't have something weird sticking out of it.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 04:48 AM
I don't know what it is about the Sentinel but I really like the look of it. Although they are claiming Farnborough is the public debut of the type, it isn't really as I saw it on display at the Waddington show a few weeks ago. However, given that Waddington is the types home base, alongside the RAF's Sentry AEW.1's that is understandable.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 11:46 AM
I agree Waynos. I've always liked this bizjet to begin with, but the Sentinel just looks cool. I like the idea of a smaller E-8 too.

posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 01:05 AM
But, do you think they could add any more bloody fins?

Kinda neat that they managed to fit that system in a smaller airframe. That must have been an engineering nightmare

posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 11:56 AM
TSR, if only you knew!!!!!. I am currently employed with RSL who are building/modifying the ASTOR at Broughton and it is coming along quite nicely thank you.

There are three built/completed and two in bits on the hanger floor so we have a way to go yet before all of the Sentinals are up and running.

Waynos, the Sentinal was on display at the Broughton open day a few weeks ago but I do not know how many of the public realised what it was!

I could tell you more but then I would have to kill you all afterwards!!!!!


posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 12:57 PM
Yes I'am aslo wondering about the size, it's very small comparing to the American E-8.

posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 03:36 PM
It uses new tech since the E-8 came out so it doesn't need a big crew like JSTARS does, and it's not really meant for a massive battlefield like E-8. That's my understanding of it anyway.

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