Daher-Socata has won major change approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) version of its multi-mission TBM single-engined turboprop.
The approval - which is applicable to all TBM 700 and 850 models - paves the way for the French airframer to present the ISR demonstrator to potential customers, including governmental organisations, military-based operations, civil agencies and contract operators.
The TBM 700B-MMA has been outfitted with a Thales Agile 2 gyro-stabilised multi-sensor turret. Located under the aircraft´s aft fuselage, this electrically driven turret is fully retractable and accommodates up to four latest-generation sensors - including infrared and electro-optical systems, along with a laser range finder and a laser designator to mark targets.
Control of the aircraft´s retractable turret is performed from a "plug-and-play" operator´s console inside the cabin. A joystick is provided for the operator, and the console is configured to display imagery from the turret, as well as handle signal processing. A long-duration digital recording function is also available.
The installation weight is around 130kg (290lb), enabling an equipped TBM 850 MMA to carry a full fuel payload of 330kg. With a removal time of 30min, the MMA can be quickly reconfigured to a passenger transport configuration, says Socata.
DAHER-SOCATA TBM aircraft are available through the company’s existing direct sales and distribution network, and are supported by its extensive worldwide network of service centers. The latest TBM 850 version, launched in 2005, has become an international success – with more than 220 aircraft sold, and 199 delivered to date to customers around the world.