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The new Reaper drones will be equipped with an “invisibility cloak”

The US Marine Corps has equipped its MQ-9 Reaper drone with an electronic warfare pod that makes the aircraft nearly invisible to the enemy.

Called T-SOAR (Scalable Open Architecture Reconnaissance), the pod mimics enemy radar and communications emissions and sends them back to the source. It practically “hides” the radar signal that would otherwise

What they bring with them is a sensing and sensing capability ,” the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric M. Smith, said at a Brookings Institution event last week .

“Some of the programs are classified. Some of the pods that are mounted on our MQ-9s are classified. It's called a T-SOAR pod and what it does is it mimics the things that are sent to it that it detects and turns them around and sends them back so that they become a black hole. It becomes mostly undetectable .”

'Invisible Cloak'

This “Invisibility Cloak” appears to be a derivative of the SOAR capsule developed by General Atomics and L3Harris, and has likely already been tested by the US Air Force in 2021 in the form of the Reaper Defense Electronic Support System.

The 634-pound (287-kilogram) SOAR “provides long-range detection, identification, and localization of radar and communications signals of interest,” according to General Atomics .

“SOAR allows operators of MQ-9 or other aircraft to provide standoff surveillance – seeing threats before the threats can see the aircraft – and to communicate actionable intelligence.”

The T-SOAR module

Detection platform against China and other powers in the Pacific

It's unclear how many of the 20 MQ-9A Block 5s the Marine Corps is purchasing will be equipped with the pod, which is integral to the transformation of the two-decade-old hunter-killer platform into a detection platform.

The US Marines want the extended-range Reapers primarily for communications and data transfer, electronic warfare, maritime domain awareness and ISR missions in the Indo-Pacific against China.

The aircraft offers a leap in capability over the much smaller legacy RQ-7 Shadow and RQ-21 Blackjack drones, with 18 expected by 2025.

“If the adversary can't hit, in terms of detection and attack, it has no value,” Smith added.

“You have to be able to perceive at a distance. You have to be able to understand what's happening. It must be able to share this data ubiquitously across the battlespace with the joint force, and that's why our MQ-9 is so important."

The objective is therefore not only to be able to control large areas of hostile territory without even being detected


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The article The new Reaper drones will be equipped with an “invisibility cloak” comes from Economic Scenarios .


This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/i-nuovi-droni-reaper-saranno-dotati-di-mantello-dellinvisibilita/ on Tue, 09 Jul 2024 18:29:01 +0000.