The Project Director Sensors-Aerial Intelligence (PD SAI) leads the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment and aerial sensor technology to deliver the Army’s priority to provide the ability to see more, farther, and more persistently than our adversaries.
The Army’s portfolio of systems is being adapted to support the Army Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force modernization strategy. To fulfill this need, the Task Force sponsored the Multi-Domain Sensing System (MDSS) program through an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). The first program coming out of the MDSS family of systems will be the MDSS High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) program.
MDSS HADES has successfully gone through the required Army acquisition shaping panel and has been approved for program initiation. Through the HADES program, the Army will build a fleet of aerial ISR systems with communications intelligence (COMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), moving target indicator (MTI), and additional built-in capabilities.
The Army has also recognized its fleet of turbo props are not adequate to meet the current Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) mission. To phase these items out, the Army made the decision to divest these systems.
PD SAI is an important part of this divestment process. We are not only supporting the removal of systems from the Army inventory, but we are also harvesting all the sensors for the system to be used by other programs or agencies.
As the Army divests it is currently working to bridge the gap between the divestment of the current fleet to the program of record. Part of this effort will include putting out the U.S. Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation-led Army Theater Level High Altitude Expeditionary Next Airborne ISR Radar/SIGINT (ATHENA-R/S) contracts as aerial ISR bridging strategy using the Aerial Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) and the Airborne Reconnaissance & Targeting Exploitation Multi-Mission Intelligence System (ARTEMIS) contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) jets. ARES and ARTEMIS have been operationally deployed to multiple theaters and have participated in the Army’s experimental technology events. The ATHENA-R/S will provide Global Force Management Allocation Plan (GFMAP) capabilities until the program record is available.
This is just one example of how PD SAI is supporting the Army’s pivot to modernization. Additional emerging efforts coming from PD SAI include partnering with PM Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to provide a new SIGINT capability for the Gray Eagle and a potential modernization of the radar on the Gray Eagle.
Additional future capability focuses for PD SAI includes the MDSS High Efficiency Radio Frequency (RF) Management and Exploitation (HERMES) program of record initiation and leading the Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors efforts to provide Air Launched Effects (ALE) payloads.
The HERMES program will provide an opportunity to develop a new SIGINT sensor in support of platforms within the aerial ISR portfolio. PD SAI is taking leadership within the community to set conditions leading the initiation of the program.
The first ALE payload program is intended to meet the Army’s need to provide reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) to the manned aviation fleet, off-board survivability and situational awareness. The full ALE payload strategy is still being developed in partnership with PM UAS. It is envisioned that ALE payloads will be acquired through an incremental approach that allows rapid prototyping and fielding of technology to field available capabilities while continuing science and technology efforts to mature and transition emerging technologies to fully realize required capabilities. The future intent is that the ALE payload will eventually be coordinated with the High-Altitude ALE and the Ground Launched Effects community.