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SPYDR platform deploys to new AOR

In early September, L-3 Mission Integration’s SPYDR platform operationally deployed with the mission to help stabilize nations, combat terrorism and counter rogue guerilla groups in an emerging Area of Responsibility. The multi-intelligence SPYDR aircraft was down-selected as the most capable and reliable solution from a number of industry options.

“This deployment is the culmination of the excellent work by many talented individuals. It’s rewarding to see SPYDR deployed to the field to utilize the many capabilities the platform offers,” said SPYDR Chief Engineer Ben Hodge, who has provided overall technical leadership to the effort since 2010.
As a product of L-3 MID’s strategic initiatives team, SPYDR is a complete processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) system that accurately acquires information to be made actionable. While SPYDR is platform-independent, L-3’s current SPYDR platform uses the King Air 350, one of many onto which the company has integrated ISR systems.

MID has worked with industry partners L-3 Vertex, L-3 Communications Systems Group, L-3 WESCAM and ViaSat over the last few years to develop and deploy the current spiral version of SPYDR, which provides dual high-definition electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor operations, multiple signals-intelligence sensors, a synthetic aperture radar with Moving Target Indicator features, additional swappable sensor payloads, and complete processing, exploitation and dissemination capability.

“The integration of the multi-intelligence capabilities on the SPYDR platform is incredible,” said MID President Mark Von Schwarz. “This is what the warfighter needs — an asset that processes, exploits and disseminates integrated, actionable ISR data from a myriad of sensors. It is a very critical time, and we understand that the combatant command is working to acquire additional SPYDR aircraft as well.”

“The entire team did a spectacular job getting SPYDR ready to deploy — on time and with the newest, most innovative capabilities to support the combatant commander,” noted Craig Koziol, vice president of ISR Systems. “For example, the integrated product team developed and implemented a solid solution to meet a critical sensor requirement in less than one month. Thank you for all the great work — SPYDR is going to make a difference when it gets to the Area of Responsibility.” 

Preparations for the deployment culminated in a “dry run” demonstration for numerous customers from around the world in August. 
“The integrated, multi-intelligence demonstration of the fully operational SPYDR last month really ‘wowed’ our customers, as did the depth and breadth of MID’s capabilities,” said Mark Johnson, vice president of Next Generation ISR in ISR Systems.  “Several commented that they didn’t realize all that MID could do — and now they know that they have a ‘one stop shop’ for mission integration. The success of this deployment in a critical, emerging AOR bodes well for our business as they have a lot of requirements that are currently unaddressed.”

By: Troy Brakefield
The Integrator
October 2013