Military Embedded Systems

Sky Warden ISR strike aircraft in development for contested environments


May 11, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

L3Harris Technologies photo.

MELBOURNE, Fla. L3Harris Technologies and Air Tractor have teamed to produce the AT-802U Sky Warden, a production-ready aircraft designed for airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and other missions in extreme combat environments.

According to the company, Sky Warden is based on the rugged and capable Air Tractor AT-802, which features the largest payload capacity of any single engine turboprop aircraft. It hosts L3Harris’ world-class family of communications, sensors, and airborne ISR solutions.

The multi-mission platform is designed to provide the operator flexibility to identify, track, and react to counter threats. It merges the capabilities of larger ISR and armed aircraft into one package. It is also capable of takeoff and landing on unimproved airstrips.

Officials claim that the Sky Warden aims to merge the history of the Vietnam era A-1E Sky Raider with the present-day U-28, which uses the callsign “Warden” during combat operations. Sky Warden combines their capabilities to collapse the stack, providing one aircraft capable of multiple mission roles.

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