Whatever happened to elevating sensor masts?

LANCER TRACER with sensor mast

A question for you red of trouser types.

Not so long ago you couldn’t move for vehicle concepts that had elevating masts combining electro-optical, thermal imaging and radar sensors.

VERDI Warrior
VERDI Warrior
Stealth Recce Warrior 1998
Stealth Recce Warrior 1998
LANCER TRACER with sensor mast
LANCER TRACER with sensor mast

A few non-UK vehicles also entered service.

Coyote Recce
Coyote Recce (Canada)
SNĚŽKA-Reconnaissance-Vehicle
SNĚŽKA Reconnaissance Vehicle (Czech Repuplic)

All the operational analysis for TRACER seemed to point to them offering significant survivability benefits in addition to increasing flexibility and overall capability

TRACER Mast

A few concepts have emerged recently like the C-Quad, Blighter Scout and ISTAR Jackal

C-Quad
C-Quad
Blighter Scout
Blighter Scout
ROTAS on Jackal ISTAR 01
ROTAS on Jackal ISTAR

And not forgetting the TALISMAN Mastiff that was developed for use in Afghanistan in the route clearance role

Talisman - Mastiff Protected Eyes
Talisman – Mastiff Protected Eyes

But what about SV Scout?

SV Scout
SV Scout

No mast.

Why did they fall out of favour?

Are we expecting high definition video and SAR from airborne platforms like Watchkeeper and Sentinel to be always available, is there a downside to putting your very expensive sensors on long unarmoured masts, or is it something else?

Anyone have any ideas why the elevating sensor mast went the way of flares?

 

 

 

 

 

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