Clearer images from ARS

BAE Systems has completed commissioning in Oman of an Airborne Reconnaissance System (ARS) camera as part of the F-16 Oman Peace A’sama A’safiya program.

According to BAE Systems, the ARS system – which has been integrated onto a Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) F-16 – can take pictures at any time during the day at altitudes between 3,000 to 40,000 feet and at ranges of up to 100 nautical miles.

ARS digitally records imagery in the visible and infrared light spectra. The system contains adaptable optics, allowing the collection of imagery in dual fields of view and allowing the sensor to operate with high- and medium-altitude functionality. During all operational modes, recorded imagery is displayed on the aircraft’s multi-function display.

BAE Systems also claims that ARS has the largest focal length currently available for tactical reconnaissance missions.

‘The increased focal length allows military personnel to take clear pictures or collect reconnaissance data from a greater, and therefore safer, distance,’ said Raymond Fricker, identification and surveillance program manager for BAE Systems in Greenlawn, New York. ‘This system can cover more area per minute than any other system available today.’

Performance and aircraft integration testing were completed earlier this year at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The systems were then shipped to Oman for integration into the arsenal of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO).

RAFO, US government, and BAE Systems personnel conducted 11 flights in three days with complete data analysis as part of the commissioning effort.

More than 10,000 image frames compressed into 250 gigabytes of digital visible and infrared imagery were collected and viewed on the BAE Systems-supplied ground intelligence processing station.

ARS will now be used by the RAFO to closely monitor Oman’s borders and surrounding sea areas for activities such as smuggling, illegal immigration, and terrorist activities.