US Air Force Advances ISR Capabilities

ISR capabilities

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In an attempt to preserve its status as a tech-leading nation and enhance its ISR capabilities, the US Air Force has signed a contract with KeyW for $24m. The contract is with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to advance its airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) development efforts. Under the five-year contract, the company will conduct research into multi-sensor multi-domain fusion, including radio frequency, electro-optical and infrared sensing.

According to, work includes delivering hardware and software components such as imaging, detection, tracking, multifunctional sensor applications, time and space-fused multi-intelligence processing, and airborne testbed operations. The deal also covers the integration of technologies into operational platforms using the AFRL’s multi-intelligence pod, which was developed by KeyW under last year’s contract.

The pod enables the air force to rapidly reconfigure sensor suites in the field. KeyW chief operating officer John Sutton said: “We look forward to supporting AFRL as it continues to push the boundaries of airborne ISR. It’s a phenomenal opportunity to drive the mission forward while leveraging the existing multi-sensor technology KeyW developed and tested to conduct critical research for Department of Defense customers.”

KeyW said that its ISR systems are software-reconfigurable, multi-spectrum sensors that are readily adaptable to diverse missions and a wide range of aircraft and ground vehicles.

When coupled with its aircraft service capabilities, KeyW’s solutions are said to deliver highly advanced, yet affordable ISR products and services for virtually any mission.