An American firm has developed a palletized Osprey 30 radar system that can be quickly installed on a transport aircraft like the C-130 and turn the aircraft into a very capable ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) system. The radar system operates using aircraft generated electricity and places the radars in the two side doors of the aircraft. The pallet includes an operator panel so air and ground objects the radar detects and be detected and acted on. The palletized radar system can be quickly installed in a wide range of two and four engine transports, producing ISR aircraft quickly and as needed. This enables a cargo transport to quickly switch between cargo transport and ISR roles.
The Osprey 30 radar consists of up to four 11.3 kg (25 pound) AESA flat panel radars, each panel covering 120 degrees and capable of detecting objects up to 370 kilometers away. The Osprey AESA radar can do surface or air search, and has SAR (synthetic aperture radar) capability that provides 3-D renderings of ground objects. There is also a ground moving target indication. A single lightweight control unit combines all the data from up to four panels into a single image. Osprey 30 radar systems weigh up to 60 kg for four AESA panels plus a control unit. Osprey 30 radars are often used in helicopters and UAVs because of their low weight and power consumption, no moving parts and reliability.