TCOM has announced the launch of its newest aerostat platform, the 12M Tactical Aerostat. The system is designed specifically to meet the needs of the warfighter and first responders who require a compact, affordable persistent surveillance solution that can be transported anywhere, rapidly deployed and easily retrieved.
This new 12M system is the most compact tactical aerostat in TCOM’s line of aerostat platforms incorporating design innovations from the company’s battlefield-proven 17M and 22M platforms. It is ideally suited for time-critical surveillance missions, when operators need to improve or restore domain awareness in their area of responsibility.
“The 12M Tactical Aerostat is an essential tool for anyone who needs reliable surveillance or communications rapidly,” stated TCOM President Ron Bendlin. “The compact size and portability allows for quick deployment, and the extended range means that operators are able to obtain actionable information when they need it most.”
Like the 17M, the 12M aerostat system is highly versatile and simple to operate. The system can be quickly deployed from a vehicle with minimal manning and is easily transported in a single 7.5′x7.5′x6.5′ container. The system’s mooring station is built on a versatile base that uses ISO corners to standardize mounting on various platforms or directly on the ground.
With a standard tether length to support operational altitude of 1,000 feet, the 12MTactical Aerostat can accommodate a variety of payloads up to 60 lbs. from communications equipment to video and infrared cameras. It is currently being integrated with the Broadband Meshable Data Link (BMDL) and a stabilized turret camera for specific demonstrations. The BMDL will relay video, audio, and GPS data through a radio system mounted on the aerostat to extend the usable range far beyond that of a tactical, terrestrial antenna. The stabilized turret camera can be controlled by operators on the ground or from the mooring system using a joystick – with a surveillance area greatly enhanced by the operational altitude of the 12M.
The system is very affordable, with an extremely low hourly operating cost as compared to other manned and unmanned aerial surveillance systems while providing unmatched persistence from a single platform. Its ease of use, portability, and small operational footprint all add to the value this new system brings to the warfighter or first responder.
“This capability is a force multiplier for the expeditionary forces. I would have liked to have deployed with it when I was forward deployed,” stated Lieutenant General USMC, Retired Jan Huly.
Source: Press Release