Icarus' Wasp-M to employ MAD-XR submarine detection system

Icarus Aerospace announced on September 17 that it has joined forces with CAE Defence & Security to provide a submarine detection and tracking capability for the Wasp-M.

In a press release, the Canadian-based start-up stated that CAE will provide its Magnetic Anomaly Detection – Extended Role (MAD-XR) system for the Wasp-M – the maritime variant of its Tactical Air Vehicle (TAV) family. It added that the system will be employed by the Wasp-M in a towed configuration to “remove all sources of aircraft interference and provide a superior magnetic anomaly detection solution.”

Wasp-M [Icarus Aerospace]
Concept art of the Wasp-M towing the Magnetic Anomaly Detection - Extended Role (MAD-XR) system in flight. The system will provide the maritime variant of the Tactical Air Vehicle (TAV) with a submarine detection and tracking capability. Icarus Aerospace

CAE’s MAD-XR is a compact version of the company’s Magnetic Anomaly Detection system family, which is primarily used to detect and track submarines in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The MAD-XR features a MAD sensor with reductions in size, weight and power requirements so that it can be employed by smaller platforms, including helicopters, small fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The company flew its first MAD-XR prototype in 2013.

The system was heavily scrutinised against its larger counterpart – the AN/ASQ-508 MAD system – and was deemed by the company to have the same performance. In 2017, the US Navy successfully completed trials of the MAD-XR aboard a Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission maritime helicopter.

Wasp-M [Icarus Aerospace]
This concept art of two TAV aircraft in flight provides a good view of the platform's 11 hardpoints. Note that the two aircraft pictured are outfitted for armed maritime operations. Icarus Aerospace

In its press release, Icarus said: “Wasp-M ensures that crew can operate the aircraft in the most demanding scenarios with minimal workload and for prolonged periods of time without excessive fatigue. We bring technology and capability which greatly enhances safety, mission efficiency and ensures success while enabling reduction of crew members onboard the aircraft.”

Icarus unveiled its TAV family of twin-turboprop multi-mission combat aircraft on August 10. It has been designed from the outset to be optionally-piloted, meaning it can be flown in both manned and unmanned configurations on a variety of missions. To read more about Icarus’ TAV family, follow the link below.