Electronic Weapons: Yemen Embraces SAR


July 6, 2014: Yemen has ordered four reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft from an American firm (L-3). Type of aircraft and equipment were not announced but L-3’s primary offering in this area is the Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft equipped with two surveillance turrets; one with day/night vidcams and the other with an SAR  (Synthetic Aperture Radar). These four surveillance aircraft are to be delivered by the end of 2015.

The 350ER is a twin turboprop aircraft weighing 7.5 tons and capable to spending eight hours in the air per sortie. The 350ERs are often equipped like a recon UAV, with over a ton of gear that usually includes a day/night cameras and a radar. Also carried are electronic monitoring equipment. The 350ER can be used to patrol land borders, or at sea. Crew usually consists of two pilots and one or two equipment operators.

SAR can distinguish small objects on the ground in search mode, and then zero in at smaller resolution to get details (like someone carrying a rifle). SAR can see through storms, even sand storms, any time of day. The ones carried in an aircraft the size of the 350ER would likely have a range of 25 kilometers or more.


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