Italy is integrating the Israeli Reccelite tactical reconnaissance pod on its US-made General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) Predator B/ MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems. Integration tests are already underway and fielding of the new configuration is expected next year. The Reccelite, made by Rafael, is already flying on Italian Air Force fighter jets such as the Tornado and AMX. Reccelite is a versatile imagery reconnaissance pod .
designed to provide wide-area coverage using a gimballed, advanced, high-resolution multi-mega-pixel recce camera. The Reccelite pod will complement the Full-motion Video (FMV) provided by the Predator’s existing nose-mounted, Multi-spectral Targeting System-B (MTS-B). RecceLite provides geo-referenced, wide field-of-regard, high-resolution digital still imagery in the infrared and visible bands. To provide wide area coverage this imagery is post-processed into a mosaic image in the Ground Exploitation Station.
“Integrating this imagery enhancement capability onto Predator B is a significant milestone and could lead to similar efforts with other NATO customers that operate MQ-9,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Predator B’s open payload architecture enables users to integrate their own payloads easily, with minimal to no software changes required.”
A combined Italian Air Force, GA-ASI, and Rafael team is currently testing the integration hardware that will make this enhanced capability available to Italian operational forces. The team will execute developmental and operational flight tests under ItAF leadership in early 2017 at Amendola Air Base, Italy, with system fielding to occur shortly thereafter.