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Bombardier Global 6500 private jet selected by US Army as spy plane prototype

The United States (US) Army has selected the Bombardier Global 6500 private jet as the prototype for the High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System, known as HADES. 

The US Army confirmed on January 3, 2024, that Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal and Army Fixed Wing Project Office had ordered a Bombardier Global 6500, with options to purchase two additional aircraft over a three-year period.   

The HADES prototype will be the first US Army-owned large-cabin business jet utilized for Aerial Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms, with delivery expected on October 1, 2024. 

The spy plane prototype will be developed to carry out ‘deep sensing’ operations, allowing the US military to see strike threats from greater distances.  

“HADES will bring the Army increased range, speed, endurance and aerial ISR depth,” Col. Joe S. Minor, project manager for Army fixed-wing aircraft, said. “HADES will operate at higher altitudes than legacy turboprop platforms. Higher altitudes equate to an ability to sense farther and more persistently into areas of interest. Deep sensing is the Army’s number-one operational imperative for the Army of 2030.” 

According to Defense News, in preparation for the HADES program the US army has deployed two aerial technology demonstrators (ATD) for Aerial Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance since 2020, known as Artemis and Ares. 

Artemis (Aerial Reconnaissance and Targeting Exploitation Multi-Mission Intelligence System), a Bombardier Challenger 650 aircraft, has flown more than 600 sorties for US European Command.  

And Ares (Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System), a Bombardier Global Express 6500 aircraft, has flown 300 sorties in the Indo-Pacific. 

The ATDs provide data about platform performance, sensor integration, sensor performance and data distribution to both the Army and the joint force.  

The ATDs also allow the Army to better understand the doctrine, training, personnel, facilities and sustainment required to employ these more capable sensors and aircraft that HADES will provide. 

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