The Role of a Surveillance Aircraft
Surveillance aircraft have served governments and military for decades. Some of these aircraft can fly at extreme altitude to avoid detection. Others provide lower altitude surveillance. They are used for reconnaissance, airspace surveillance, battlefield surveillance, fishery protection, border patrol, and for various other purposes. As you can understand from the name, these aircraft are used to monitor the activities of a certain area. They do not perform functions of tactical aircraft. Rather, they are used to collect information that can be used strategically.
Here are some of the most important roles that a surveillance aircraft has to play:
Although the use of surveillance aircraft has been prevalent since the first World War, its use has become increasingly expanded and more complex up to present time. With heightened awareness of crime and terrorism over the past few decades, surveillance aircraft have been used in a broadening arena. The use of surveillance aircraft is not just limited to the USA. Many countries employ surveillance aircraft for civilian, commercial, law enforcement and military purposes.
Surveillance aircraft that are used for maritime patrol are slightly larger than normal. Also, they are not as fast as other surveillance aircraft. They are fixed-wing aircraft that are designed to patrol over oceans and seas for a long period of time. In fact, their major role in this sector is to act as a part of the search and rescue (SAR) team, for anti-ship warfare (AShW), and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). These surveillance aircraft can pick up signals from possible submarines in the water and alert the navy team about their presence.
Probably, one of the most common uses of surveillance aircraft is to send information during war. Their role during modern-day conflicts is indispensable. There are many types of aircraft specially equipped for various types of surveillance, each with its own unique advantages and uses.
Key Features of a Surveillance Aircraft
Over the years, the features and functions of surveillance aircraft have changed significantly. Their ability to fly higher, gather more detailed information, and run for longer periods of time have helped provide the intel about on possible terror attacks. Following are a few top features that you can expect to find in a surveillance aircraft:
Most of the users of surveillance aircraft are from the Department of Defense, system integrators, and government contractors. That is why the surveillance aircraft that are used today come with an OCONUS solution. The aircraft are specifically modified and built for fulfilling the particular purposes of the department that will be using the aircraft. This is something that was not possible a few decades ago. The makers are now using an interactive approach to build the aircraft and customize them according to the need of the government or defense department.
Execution of the Mission
Even the mission that the surveillance aircraft will perform is determined by the manufacturer. A defense team may not need the information that a government body required. So, the purpose of the aircraft will be totally different. The aircraft today are equipped and organized to send the surveillance data of the desired area and for the required amount of time.
Standardized Fleet for ISR
Most of the surveillance aircraft that are being manufactured now can meet the various needs of ISR applications. They are designed with some of the latest technologies to ensure that the main priorities of the ISR applications are served. That is why the payload capacity continues to change with every new model that is manufactured.
Surveillance aircraft are here to stay. Their contribution to the government and the defense of a country is invaluable. With the latest technologies that are coming up, the newer models will be even far more effective.