Argentina evaluates ISR pod on IA-58 Pucará Fénix aircraft

The Directorate General for Research and Development of the Argentinian Air Force, together with Invap, carried out the first certification and integration flights of the airborne pod designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the IA-58 Pucará Fénix modernized by Fadea, Gonzalo Mary reports in InfoDefensa.

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Argentina evaluates intelligence and surveillance POD of IA 58 Pucará Fénix aircraft

IA-58 Pucará Fénix taxiing with an ISR-RAXA pod (Picture source : Argentinian air force via InfoDefensa)

The first certification flights of the Technology Assessment Model (MET 1) of the pod ISR-Raxa were carried out in the first week of May. During the first flight, the aerodynamic and structural behavior of the aircraft and the pod were verified. During the second day, electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMI/EMC), electrical loads in flight, ergonomics, vibrations and temperatures were evaluated. The first image acquisitions were made from a national industry SAR radar. The next step will be to check the radar in order to acquire information from it in the strip map mode for the generation of a Synthetic Aperture Radar image.

The first ground tests were carried out by the staff of the Flight Test Center (CEV) and Invap in February. Then, they began to define and prepare the flight plans and integration of the pod with the IA-58 Pucará Fénix.

For Invap, the IA-58 Fénix will be the framework for the development of the pod ISR through successive METs that will gradually incorporate capabilities into the product. The MET 2 is expected in mid-2022 and a year later the MET 3, which will be integrated with a gyro-stabilized pod with an electro-optical camera developed by FixView S.R.L. Invap hopes that its pod will be integrated with an Image Acquisition System (UPS), mounted in a stabilized unit, which eliminates vibrations and aerodynamic effects, composed of an electro-optical and infrared sensor, together with a rangefinder and laser illuminator. , with automatic tracking and target marking capabilities.

This system will provide the Argentine Air Force with surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in any weather condition, Gonzalo Mary concludes.