A business unit of United Technologies Corp. has received a contract from the U.S. Air Force to update the company’s MS-177 imaging sensor system in efforts to increase the technology’s resolution and coverage.
UTC Aerospace Systems will design, build, manufacture and deliver updated MS-177A sensors for potential deployment by the Air Force in 2019, UTC said Monday.
The service branch will determine eventual sensor production quantities based on the Defense Department‘s annual acquisition priorities and Congress’ funding allocations, the company added.
Kevin Raftery, vice president of ISR and space systems at UTC Aerospace Systems, said the company will leverage its knowledge of spectral-based airborne technology to support the Air Force’s global missions through the contract.
The company has completed a series of flight demonstrations aimed to test if the current MS-177 technology could function in land and maritime mission environments when integrated with a high-altitude, long endurance unmanned aerial system.
The Air Force aims to begin fielding the sensor on Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk drones in late 2017.