Garmin Aviation Tech Featured in Sky Warden, a U.S. Special Forces Combat Aircraft

Garmin commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions provide innovative and cost-effective technology for government and defense operators.

An L3Harris Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft based on an airframe pioneered by Air Tractor, Sky Warden will provide short takeoff and landing capabilities, a small support footprint and allow the aircrew who operate it to integrate more effectively with ground units. And now, thanks to the installation of the Garmin G3000® integrated flight deck, it’s also known for its forward-thinking digital avionics suite — making it the perfect selection for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Armed Overwatch program.

The modified crop-duster platform was selected by USSOCOM for up to 75 manned, fixed-wing aircraft. The presence of the G3000 on board means those aircraft will be equipped with the latest communication, surveillance air traffic management (CNS/ATM) and navigation capabilities in COTS solution based on the Garmin avionics Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) design.

The Sky Warden, the first forward-fit deployable combat aircraft to feature the G3000 system, also includes terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B IN) traffic. Even better? It’s equipped with the Garmin GFC™ 700 digital autopilot as well, meaning the glass flight deck is also fully equipped with a flight director, autopilot, yaw damper, and automatic and manual electric trim capabilities — not to mention a high level of digital sophistication.

The G3000 system boasts specific features to make it an attractive option for government and defense operators, including the ability for operators to transition seamlessly between civil, restricted and combat airspace with real-time situational awareness and connectivity. Plus, the L3Harris Widow® mission computer integrates features like weapons systems interfaces and the Thales helmet-mounted cueing system to the G3000.

Before Garmin’s avionics landed in the Sky Warden, Garmin teamed up with L3Harris back in 2018. The tandem Garmin-integrated flight decks by Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) were outfitted by L3Harris within a fleet of supersonic F-5 fighter aircraft. That configuration also included a G3000 integrated flight deck high-resolution display, as well as dual Garmin touchscreen controllers.

Not All Solutions Are Created Equal

Looking for a COTS solution for a government and defense program? Not a problem. Garmin can provide COTS solutions that meet a range of platform, scheduling and pricing needs. With prior experience in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and foreign militaries, these Garmin COTS solutions can help reduce life-cycle cost and development time in addition to providing a faster technology integration. Reach out here to connect with our sales team or to learn more about our government and defense programs, click here.