Sierra Nevada Corporation and ITT Exelis Partner to Build Advanced Wide-Area Airborne Persistent Surveillance System

SPARKS, Nev., and ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 9, 2012Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) have teamed to build Vigilant Stare, a manned aircraft-based, Wide-Area Airborne Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) system capability. This partnership will offer customers proven, advanced solutions in airborne wide-area surveillance on an affordable, fee-for-service basis, saving upfront costs and risks. Hosted on a Twin Otter aircraft, the Vigilant Stare system is derived from a U.S. Air Force operationally-proven system.   

Vigilant Stare will provide visible and infrared coverage of city-sized areas, providing real-time motion imagery directly to diversified users involved in domestic support missions. Vigilant Stare motion imagery simultaneously covers three tiers:

  • The full field of regard.
  • Multiple sub-views of the full field of view.
  • Best-resolution tactical chip-outs.

These products will be provided to users through an enterprise dissemination backend, with best-resolution chip-outs provided directly and in real time to users engaged in ground operations.

“This game-changing system will provide product in near real time for unprecedented, rapid exploitation and forensics analysis support. The entire mission data set is available post-mission for live, long-term archiving, discovery and additional exploitation,” said Dave Bullock, vice president for Persistent Surveillance Systems at Sierra Nevada Corporation. 

“Exelis has a proven track record of delivering integrated sensing systems for space and airborne platforms, across a variety of markets and customers,” said S. Danny Rajan, director of Emerging and Airborne Offerings at ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems. “These solutions enable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to be collected, processed and disseminated across multiple platforms for users. Our partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation to build the Vigilant Stare system will provide a diverse set of customers with the flexibility and capabilities necessary to carry out their missions in today’s environment.”

The Vigilant Stare partnership between SNC and Exelis brings mature operational capability to market, delivering ready-now WAAS capabilities with multiple service options that help customers meet their mission needs on a more affordable and flexible basis.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation(SNC) is one of America’s fastest growing private companies. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, SNC employs over 2,100 people in 31 locations in 16 states. SNC’s six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge technology solutions to SNC’s customers. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. For more information visit

About ITT Exelis
ITT Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense and information solutions company with strong positions in enduring and emerging global markets. Exelis is a leader in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems with growing positions in cyber security, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. The company has a 50-year legacy of innovation and technology expertise, partnering with customers worldwide to deliver affordable, mission-critical products and services for managing global threats, conflicts and complexities. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 20,500 people and generated 2011 sales of $5.8 billion.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation
Michelle Erlach