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Sierra Nevada RAPCON-X


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

GO TO SPECIFICATIONS [+]
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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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Specifications



Service Year
2025

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
IN-DEVELOPMENT
Program in Progress.
Crew
14

Production
0
UNITS


Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) - USA
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States (possible)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.


RADAR-CAPABLE
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
WING SWEEPBACK
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
WINGLETS
Mainplanes capped with winglets, providing improved fuel efficiency and enhanced handling.
HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
SUPER PERFORMANCE
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
MARITIME OPERATION
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
CREWSPACE PRESSURIZATION
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
CREW-MANAGED
Beyond a pilot, the aircraft takes advantage of additional crew specialized in specific functions aboard the aircraft.
ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
CAMERA EQUIPMENT
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.


Length
99.4 ft
(30.30 m)
Width/Span
94.2 ft
(28.70 m)
Height
25.6 ft
(7.80 m)
Empty Wgt
52,183 lb
(23,670 kg)
MTOW
99,506 lb
(45,135 kg)
Wgt Diff
+47,322 lb
(+21,465 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bombardier Global 6500 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / swept-back
Monoplane
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Low-Mounted
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
Swept-Back
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Bombardier Global 6500 production variant)
Installed: 2 x Rolls-Royce Pearl non-afterburning turbofan engines developing 15,125lb of thrust each.
Max Speed
690 mph
(1,110 kph | 599 kts)
Cruise Speed
559 mph
(900 kph | 486 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+130 mph
(+210 kph | 113 kts)
Ceiling
51,001 ft
(15,545 m | 10 mi)
Range
7,596 mi
(12,225 km | 22,641 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Bombardier Global 6500 production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Mission-specific equipment related to the airborne ISR role.


RAPCON-X - Base Series Name.


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Image from official Sierra Nevada Corporation release.


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