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HENSOLDT, Lufthansa Technik Defense and Bombardier Defense Update on German PEGASUS Program

  • Bombardier’s Global 6000 aircraft is the platform of choice by the German air force and the Cyber Command (CIR) to integrate the Hensoldt Kalætron Integral signals intelligence (SIGINT) system for airborne surveillance missions 
  • As part of its modification work package, Bombardier is establishing critical foundations for the aircraft’s upcoming systems integration, to be completed by Lufthansa Technik Defense in Hamburg, Germany 
  • First aircraft has rolled out of Bombardier Defense modification line in Wichita, Kansas, to prepare for ground testing

HENSOLDT, Lufthansa Technik Defense and Bombardier Defense announced, on time for the ILA Berlin 2024 airshow, that the highly-specialized modification work on the Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System (PEGASUS) has achieved a significant milestone 

Led by HENSOLDT for the German armed forces, the PEGASUS signal intelligence (SIGINT) system will be integrated on the Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft, the optimal platform to complete these critical missions. As part of this program, Bombardier was tasked with the foundational modification work package, collaboratively working with Lufthansa Technik Defense, who will complete the system integration at its special-mission centre in Hamburg, Germany. The first aircraft has now rolled out from the Bombardier Defense modification line in Wichita and is being prepared for the start of ground testing and for the subsequent flight. The remaining two aircraft are undergoing modifications in Bombardier’s facility. 

“Bombardier Defense is proud to have the trust of HENSOLDT, Lufthansa Technik Defense and the Luftwaffe to complete this critical work on the high-performing Global 6000 aircraft for the Pegasus program,” said Steve Patrick, Vice President for Bombardier Defense. “Thanks to our companies’ continued close collaboration and joint expertise, we are making important strides and have a clear line of sight on the aircraft’s upcoming milestones, including the start of the flight test campaign in the coming months.” 

”The roll-out following the recent passing of the Critical Design Review clearly shows that the PEGASUS program is on track,” says Jürgen Halder, Vice President Airborne SIGINT at HENSOLDT. “The underlying reconnaissance solution ‘KALAETRON Integral’ offers a worldwide unique high-performance reconnaissance capability based on powerful German key technology.” 

“The roll-out of the first structurally modified Global 6000 aircraft indeed marks a major milestone, not just as an important prerequisite for Lufthansa Technik Defense’s PEGASUS work packages, but for the overall progress of this pioneering signals intelligence aircraft project,” says Michael von Puttkamer, Vice President Special Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “We thank HENSOLDT and Bombardier for the good cooperation and we almost can’t wait to see this aircraft taking to the air, performing its flight tests and returning to Hamburg again, where in the upcoming systems integration phase we will be proud to build on the high-quality work of the team in Wichita.” 

In June 2021, HENSOLDT was awarded the contract to supply an airborne system for electronic signals intelligence on board three Bombardier jets based on its “Kalætron Integral” system, which collects and analyzes military signals from radar and radio systems. Since that award, Hensoldt, Lufthansa Technik Defense and Bombardier have collaborated closely on a joint design activity. At the end of 2023, HENSOLDT’s overall mission system design successfully passed customer acceptance. More recently, extensive structural modification work has been performed to prepare the first aircraft at Bombardier Defense’s U.S. base in Wichita, Kansas, which houses an important contingent of the company’s experienced and skilled defense workforce. This will also be the site of the initial ground and flight test activities. Upon completion of initial testing, each aircraft will be transferred to Lufthansa Technik Defense’s facilities in Hamburg for further integration work. 

The overall program is valued at over one billion euros. HENSOLDT is acting as general contractor and bears overall responsibility for the realization of the project. Lufthansa Technik Defense will act as a subcontractor, procuring the modified aircraft from Bombardier and fitting and integrating the reconnaissance system developed by HENSOLDT into the platform. Many small and medium sized enterprises from all over Germany, Canada and the U.S. are involved in the project as part of the supply chain for all companies bringing Pegasus to the finish line. 

 

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