Aerospace systems vendor L3 is offering its version of a King Air 350 aircraft specially outfitted for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance missions, for the Canadian military’s Manned Airborne ISR (MAISR) program.

According to the company, its  Spydr II is a low-risk, tailored-made aircraft for the Department of National Defence’s multi-intelligence missions.

The DND is in need of multi-sensor MAISR platform which can be deployed on short notice to provide dedicated support to DND operations domestically or internationally.

Back in 2013, DND held consultation meetings with defence industry contractors regarding the requirements for the MAISR program.

In 2015, the government released its refined requirements for the MAISR aircraft.

The government’s three element procurement strategy is:

  • Element 1: Competitively procure three (3) new, or nearly new, Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft;
  • Element 2: Procure Prime Mission Equipment (PME) integration services via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case, competed by the United States Government; and Element
  • 3: Competitively procure In-Service Support (ISS) services for the three (3) Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft.

The Spydr’s features include:

Spydr Full-Motion Video (WESCAM MX-15Di)

  • IR-Thermal Camera
  • Color Daylight Camera with Zoom
  • Laser Range Finder, Illuminator

Primary mission equipment

  • Look-Down Gimbal (LDG)
  • Imagery Management System (IMS)


  • Missile Warning Sensors
  • Countermeasure Dispenser System

Mission configuration

  • Surveillance Radar
  • LOS/BLOS Tactical Communications
  • LOS/BLOS Sensor Data Link
  • Full-Motion Video
  • Mission Management System
  • DF SIGINT System

Key to the Spydr II foundation and architecture is the patent-pending Rapid Aircraft Payload Deployment System (RAPDS), according to the Mirabel, Que-based L3.

RAPDS includes a universal bus, cabling and adapters/connections. Platforms will be able to swap sensors, antennas and mission systems between combat sorties in a matter of hours, allowing users to execute a wide range of missions with a single platform.

The Spydr is currently deployed operationally to support efforts to help stabilize nations and combat terrorism in an emerging Area of Responsibility (AOR). The aircraft was down-selected in 2013 as the most capable and reliable solution from a number of industry options, L3 said. In addition to its multi-INT capabilities as an airborne medium-altitude ISR platform, Spydr has a complete processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) system.

Jacques Comtois, vice-president and general manager of in-service support integrator L3 MAS said his company, in partnership with L3 Mission Integration, are ideal providers for the MAISR program.

“Our large footprint of qualified technical personnel located at the MAISR home based, CFB Trenton, coupled with our significant missionization and deployment experience, will allow us to offer the lowest risk solution to DND,” he said.