Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod

Joint Reconnaissance Pod

The Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP) is mounted on the centre-line pylon of the Jaguar GR3A, the Harrier GR7 and the Tornado GR4 aircraft. The DJRP contains various electronically-scanned sensors, a number of electro-optical camera options and an Infrared Line Scanner (IRLS). All sensors record to analogue SVHS tapes that provide high-resolution still or moving images of the target area to a software-based Ground Imagery Exploitation System. The various EO camera options that can be fitted to the DJRP enable it to be operated either at medium level or at low level. For medium-level operation, one camera is mounted in the nose of the pod and can be rotated through 180ยบ, from horizon-to-horizon. In the low-level mode, two fixed-depression EO cameras are mounted on either side of the pod, giving left-hand and right-hand coverage of the aircraft’s track. The IRLS is common to all camera fits and is mounted in the rear of the pod, where it gives a slightly forward-looking, almost vertical, horizon-to-horizon coverage.

When mounted on the Jaguar GR3A, the pod is designed to be used in a fully-automated mode against known targets, pre-planned on the Jaguar Mission Planner. To achieve a greater measure of mission flexibility, however, the pod can also be manually controlled by the pilot against targets of opportunity. After taking target images in manual mode, the pod can be switched back to automatic mode to continue with the pre-planned mission. Whilst medium-level operations are conducted by all three front-line Jaguar squadrons, only 41(F) Squadron operates the DJRP in the low-level, tactical reconnaissance role. The Harrier GR7 and the Tornado GR4 operate the pod in manual mode only, in both medium and low-level operations.

The digital capability of the pod could eventually enable it to send realtime, data-burst images to an E-3D Sentry or Nimrod R1 for onward transmission and download by the commander on the battlefield. This will give the commander an almost instant recce picture of an area or target at any given moment.

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