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RC-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low

Definition/Scope: The RC-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) is a multifunction, day/night, all-weather reconnaissance intelligence asset developed and fielded by the army in support of a requirement for a low-profile intelligence aircraft. It provides tactical commanders with near real-time airborne communications intelligence (COMINT) and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) collection and designated area surveillance. It is a modified DHC-7 fixed-wing aircraft with SIGINT and IMINT mission payloads controlled and operated via onboard multifunction workstations. ARL supports operations in low- to medium-intensity conflicts and performs domestic relief and humanitarian aid. Because it is self-deployable and self-sustaining for seven to ten days, it can be used as a force projection asset. It can be redeployed quickly wherever and whenever needed. There are three ARL configurations: the ARL-IMINT (ARL-I); the ARL-COMINT (ARL-C); and the ARL-multifunction (ARL-M). Intelligence collected on the ARL can be analyzed and recorded on aircraft workstations in real-time or stored on-board for post-mission processing. During multiple platform missions data can be shared between co-operating aircraft via an air-to-air data link to allow multi-platform COMINT geo-location operations. GR/CS and ARL are complementary sensors. GR/CS stands off and flies in the beam for communication intelligence (COMINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT). ARL flies low to create conventional imagery intelligence (IMINT) or higher to take advantage of its radar sensors such as moving target indicator (MTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). GR/CS and ARL systems are at the ground commander’s disposal, providing situational awareness in near real-time. Detecting the enemy through emissions across the electromagnetic spectrum, they look at the battlefield in depth. And GR/CS’s real-time location of targets means commanders have an unprecedented vision of the battlefield.

Used For:

surveillance aircraft by name



Broader Terms:

Army aircraft
communications intelligence
Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition
signal intelligence

Narrower Terms:

communications intelligence
Guardrail Common Sensor
imagery intelligence
moving target indicator

Related Terms:

high frequency
situational awareness
super high frequency
ultrahigh frequency
very high frequency

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008