The Germany based H3 MISSION SYSTEMS is a subsidiary of the internationally renowned H3 AEROSPACE – also owning H3 GROB AIRCRAFT SE. H3 MISSION SYSTEMS specialises in developing and integrating turnkey ready ISR solutions for a variety of platforms. The most successful addition to the product line is the H3 ISR ICARUS, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX that was modified with a state of the art ISR sensors & mission system. We have interviewed Joerg Dommasch, company’s Chief Operating Officer, for more information on their products and plans for the future.
H3 Grob Aircraft SE has a division focused on the ISR systems. Can you introduce it a bit? How did it evolve from the training world?
With the deployment of our military trainers and computer based systems to forces all over the planet, we were quite often asked if we could also support ISR solutions. So that was a customer driven decision, which of course also worked well as a supporting leg to sustainable growth of our companies. As this segment was growing, we decided to carve out all the Special Mission Aircraft activities into the new H3 Mission System GmbH, which is, just like H3 Grob Aircraft SE, part of the H3 Aerospace Group.
What level of ISR systems are you providing?
We are focusing on platform agnostic, cost effective solutions, ranging from small retro-fit PODs to full blown aircraft modifications with all “bells & whistles”. Our systems are complemented by ground based assets like a TPED truck, or portable ground control station solutions.
What are the typical sensors you can integrate to the plane? Do you produce the control consoles and SW yourselves?
H3 Mission Systems have a wide experience with sensors from all domains, EO/IR, optical scanners, radars, SIGINT, or other systems for military, or civil purposes, i.e. geo-mapping & environmental monitoring.
Since there are many ISR-focused solutions on the market, what is the role of H3 Mission Systems? Is it an integrator, or system and service provider?
A key differentiator to many other companies is that we are “One Stop Shop” because we do have all required capabilities under one roof. Apart from working as an EASA Design- and Production Organization, H3 is designing customized hardware like Operator Consoles and is also developing the mission software & interfaces in house. This leads to rapid integration times and cost reduction. Having our own airport and aircraft is a nice asset to also offering the perfect environment for mission training.
We have noted the sale of three H3-upgraded Cessna ISR airplanes to an African Customer, can you tell us more about the project?
We have sold a couple of our ICARUS ISR aircraft to an African Customer recently. These aircraft are based on the well-known Cessna C208B Grand Caravan and are the most versatile and cost effective multi role aircraft on the market.
Are there any projects for Grob platforms?
Yes, we are working on the G 520 OPV, which is becoming the unmanned variant of our high altitude and long endurance ISR aircraft. We are already operating the aircraft at level of interoperability 4, which means full autonomous flight , or control from ground, except take-off and landing. We believe that having a platform that can carry up to 1.000 kg payload to FL 450 for more than 10 hours, offering manned, or unmanned operation, will be a very promising capability to military customers worldwide.
One of your website mottos is “ITAR Free” How did you succeed to assemble a product without any US content when many of the world-leading systems in that area come from the US?
As we wanted to offer our products to as many customers as possible, we have developed ITAR free alternatives integrating in our mission system. That sometimes required swapping out individual components like IMU sensors for example. Apart from that there are many European suppliers offering high quality products..
Interviewed by: Jakub Fojtík, Ph.D., LL.M.
Photos by: H3 Grob Aircraft SE