Daher's TBM Enters Surveillance And Reconnaissance Market
Daher has developed a new configuration for its TBM 910 and TBM 930 single-engine turboprops to carry intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment, which the company introduced at the Eurosatory 2018 Security and Defense Show in Paris this week. Nicolas Chabbert, director of Daher's Airplane Business Unit, told AVweb the company’s main objective is to provide an alternative within the growing market of medium-altitude long-endurance surveillance options that is quick to deploy. The new configuration allows the mounting of sensors and high-definition cameras beneath the wings of the aircraft. According to Daher, an extensive test program was completed with a 110-pound high-definition camera, and the installation did not negatively affect aircraft handling or performance.
The TBM 910/TBM 930 ISR version also can fly surveillance missions with a multi-sensor optronic retractable turret, as well as a Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator, the company said. The aircraft can also intercept communications. The sensors and cameras are controlled from a quick-change console by an operator seated behind the pilot. Both the 910 and 930 are powered by an 850-HP PT6A-66D turboprop engine. The primary difference between the models is avionics—the 910 is equipped with Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics system with physical keypad, and the 930 comes with Garmin’s G3000 with touchscreen control.
The manufacturer is counting on a growing demand for charter and commercial use of single-engine turboprops, especially in France, where labor strikes at times have crippled the scheduled air transport sector. In the ISR configuration, the TBM 910 and TBM 930 can also fulfill a wide range of defense, security, medical evacuation and transport missions. Daher notes the aircraft can be reconfigured rapidly for various duties. Both aircraft cruise at around 330 knots and have a useful range of slightly over 1700 NM.