Farnborough Air Show

Innovative Sensor Mount Uses C-130 Cargo Door Opening

 - July 11, 2012, 8:10 AM

There are plenty of sensor options available for mounting on the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules, but an innovative new technology called Sabir (Special Airborne Mission Installation & Response System) is being presented here at the show by Highland Integrated Surveillance Systems (Hiss). It is a self-contained bolt on/bolt off assembly, which requires no hardware modifications to the aircraft because the complete system unit is tucked into the fuselage side in place of an aft paratroop door.

The unit, which causes no interference with cargo operations, comprises a collapsible workstation, operator chair, equipment racks, an observer door plug, with frame and built-in sonotube launcher, and an articulated strut with sensor mounting. The Sabir enables a C-130 to be used with minimum change for a wide variety of different special missions including command and control, search and rescue, Elint and Comint, surveillance, UAV launch and control, and image intelligence.

The system has been developed by Calgary-based Airdyne R&D and is marketed by Hiss. Clients include U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Air National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Department of National Defence. The NATO-standard mounting provides full 360 degrees field of view for any sensor payload, which can be retracted for takeoff or landing and allows rapid fitting of the sensor. There is a large bubble window in the new roll-up door for a wide view. There is also the option of adding armour to the position and the mission system uses standard aircraft power supplies.

Although the SABIR concept was originally designed to allow any standard C-130 to carry additional sensors and carry out special operations without compromising other operational requirements, its success has led to Hiss proposing installations suitable for the CN-295, C-27J, Embraer 390 and for use on large helicopters such as the CH-47 Chinook.