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Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X

Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Special-Mission Aircraft

United States | 2025

"The BOmbardier Global 6500 serves as the host airframe to the proposed SNC RAPCON-X ISR platform for the U.S. Army."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/06/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is proposing its "RAPCON-X" special-mission platform to satisfy an ongoing Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) requirement of the United States Army. The design relies on the Bombardier Global 6500 "twin" business jet (BizJet) as its host aircraft (defined as Commercial Derivative Aircraft = CDA) and is equipped with all necessary systems, subsystems, sensors, and workstations for the role. In the proposed arrangement with the service, the aircraft would be contractor-owned and -operated enabling the company to cover aircraft maintenance, flight operations, and general logistics support as part of the partnership.

With the Global 6500 BizJet as its host, the aircraft is set to retain all of its excellent qualities and sleek styling of the original airframe. This includes the sharp, sloping nosecone assembly offering excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit for the side-by-side seated pilots. The cockpit will house the GATM/NextGen 2020 avionics set as a modern solution. The sides of the fuselage are dotted with vision ports and, internally, system stations will be arranged along its length in single-aisle format. The mainplanes are positioned at midships and low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage, swept-back for high-speed performance, and capped by economically-minded winglets. The tail unit is of "T-style" plane arrangement allowing the horizontal planes to clear the engine exhaust at the rear. The engines are held outboard on stubs alongside the aft-end of the fuselage, reducing cabin noise while concentrating turbofan thrust output. A wheeled, retractable tricycle undercarriage provides the needed support for the aircraft when ground-running.

Key physical features include a notable bulge at the forward ventral fuselage line of the aircraft along with a series of protruding antenna and sensors.

Performance specs include a mission endurance window of some fourteen hours in the air, an operating altitude up to 45,000 feet, and a range (ferry) out to 6,000 nautical miles.

Utilization of an in-service, commercial market aircraft theoretically reduces procurement and operating costs of the program while offering a proven product built around speed, altitude, and operational range for the business market and a product already supported by commercial airports, runways, and the aerospace supply chain.

A modular approach will be taken with the internals of the RAPCON-X in that its systems and work stations will all be interchangeable / upgradeable as new technologies allow or mission requirements dictate - further broadening the tactical capabilities of the platform.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Bombardier Global 6500 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Special-Mission Aircraft.
2 x Rolls-Royce Pearl non-afterburning turbofan engines developing 15,125lb of thrust each.
690 mph
1,110 kph | 599 kts
Max Speed
559 mph
900 kph | 486 kts
Cruise Speed
51,001 ft
15,545 m | 10 miles
Service Ceiling
7,596 miles
12,225 km | 6,601 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Bombardier Global 6500 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Special-Mission Aircraft.
99.4 ft
30.30 m
O/A Length
94.2 ft
(28.70 m)
O/A Width
25.6 ft
(7.80 m)
O/A Height
52,183 lb
(23,670 kg)
Empty Weight
99,506 lb
(45,135 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Special-Mission Aircraft .
None. Mission-specific equipment related to the airborne ISR role.
Notable series variants as part of the Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X family line.
RAPCON-X - Base Series Name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (possible) ]
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Image of the Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X
Image from official Sierra Nevada Corporation release.

Going Further...
The Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Special-Mission Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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